BREAKING NEWS: Liverpool announce Benteke signing

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The Belgium international striker has moved to Anfield after the Reds activated his £32.5 million release clause and becomes the club’s seventh signing of a busy summer

Christian Benteke has finalised his £32.5 million switch from Aston Villa to Liverpool on a five-year deal, becoming the club’s second most expensive signing.

The striker, who undertook a two-part medical in London on Monday and Tuesday with club doctor Andy Massey, was the priority target for Brendan Rodgers.

The Reds boss is determined to reverse last season’s shortage of goals and believes the 24-year-old is the key element in restoring bite up front as Daniel Sturridge continues his rehabilitation from hip surgery.

Liverpool had to activate Benteke’s hefty release clause as Villa were reluctant sellers, placing the Belgian just behind fellow forward Andy Carroll (£35m) on the list of the club’s biggest purchases.

While the outlay of cash is similar, the Reds are confident their new acquisition will contribute on a much larger scale than Carroll did as he is a different prospect – technically superior as well as more mobile and explosive.

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Benteke netted 42 times in 82 league starts for the West Midlands side, with Liverpool finding out first hand just how devastating he can be – failing to thwart him on five occasions in six fixtures.

Upon completion of his move, the Belgium international told the club’s official website: “I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team.

“I think this is the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and I wanted to be part of his project.”

Benteke is likely to make his debut in Finland against HJK Helsinki on August 1.

In the meantime, he will train with fellow big-money recruit Firmino at Melwood, as well as Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can. The trio were afforded an extended break after participation in national tournaments this summer.

Also at the club’s training complex is Jose Enrique, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini – players who were not invited on Liverpool’s pre-season tour and are welcome to depart should suitable offers surface.

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