By Merseyside correspondent Cam Downes
Christian Benteke will undergo a Liverpool medical in London on Monday and complete his £32.5million transfer from Aston Villa, Football Insider sources understand.
Club doctor Andrew Massey has flown to the UK from Adelaide, where Liverpool are on the latest leg of their tour of Australia and the Far East, to oversee the Belgium international’s medical examinations.
Benteke will then sign a five-year deal with the Merseysiders before heading to the club’s Melwood headquarters to line up alongside the likes of Coutinho and new signing Roberto Firmono, who start pre-season training on Wednesday following their Copa America involvement.
It has been decided that the trio will remain in England rather than link up with Liverpool overseas.
Benteke will complete his transfer to Anfield in the next 48 hours after Liverpool triggered the £32.5million release clause in his Aston Villa contract.
The Merseysiders offered the full sum of the striker’s release clause with the bid tabled last Thursday and will now make him their most expensive summer signing within days.
Brendan Rodgers’ team made their move after weeks of talks with Villa, and amid growing interest in the player from Manchester United.
United are in the market for new two strikers following the departures of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, with the likes of Edinson Cavani on their target list.
But it is Liverpool who have captured the 24-year-old, and only the formalities of the deal are now left to complete.
Liverpool first made contact with Villa with a valuation of £25million, but the Midlands side were never interested in dealing at that price.
Liverpool have had to relent and pay the full £32.5million to land their number one summer target. The Merseysiders been the busiest Premier League club in the summer transfer window, signing seven new players, including a new forward in Danny Ings.
But Rodgers and the Anfield recruitment team have wanted another senior striker to provide competition for Ings, Divock Origi and the injury-prone Daniel Sturridge.
They are set to land Benteke at the start of next week. Benteke finished last season in impressive form, scoring 12 goals in Villa’s last 14 matches to end an injury-interrupted campaign with 15 goals. He was also caused the Liverpool defence huge problems in Villa’s FA Cup semi-final win at the end of the season.
As revealed by Football Insider in March, Liverpool will free up space in their squad by listening to offers for Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini this summer.
Balotelli is in talks with Fiorentina after being left out of the Liverpool squad that left the UK last Sunday to tour Australia and the Far East.
Lambert is closing in on a £3million move to West Brom.