iBet: Could it be destination Arsenal for Benteke?

Gareth Purnell

Back Arsenal to be Christian Benteke’s next club at 4/1

Unless you are lucky enough to have some inside information, betting on transfer deals can only be a matter of educated guesswork. But I could certainly see Christian Benteke moving to Arsenal and at odds of 4/1 (as short as 5/2 elsewhere) it could be worth chancing.

The first thing is that the Gunners desperately need a powerful forward and great finisher, and perhaps most importantly the money is being released to go out and buy some quality. They are going to need it, because Benteke is going to cost £20 million plus if he leaves Aston Villa. There have been conflicting reports about what he’s said to the Press and of course Paul Lambert does not want him to leave, but he certainly seems open to at least listening to offers.

And you can imagine that his agent will be reminding him that he’s hot property right now and that he could probably demand £100,000 a week. But that might not be the case if he gets injured early next season. It’s also interesting that Villa are in talks to sign Danish striker Nicklas Helenius and have also just signed another forward, 23-year-old Bulgarian winger Aleksander. Spurs are among the other clubs to have shown an interest, but they will surely only have the money if Gareth Bale leaves, and I don’t think he will. It’s speculative and a few things need to fall into place, but at 4/1 I think it’s worth a small interest.

The betting suggests the managerial position at Wigan is a wide open affair, but there has been money in the last few days for Owen Coyle, who is in to 9/4 favourite at the time of writing, with Steve McClaren 11/4, Milton Keynes boss Karl Robinson 7/1 and former Manchester United assistance Mike Phelan available at 9/1.

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