Aston Villa tonight confirmed star striker Christian Benteke has handed in a transfer request.
Benteke has been linked with a move away from the club this summer after excelling in his first season in the Barclays Premier League.
The Belgian has not travelled to a pre-season training camp in Germany after being given extra time off by Villa, who are reluctant to part company with one of their best players.
In a statement, the club said: “In response to reports that Christian Benteke has not travelled to Germany with the club and has made a transfer request, we can confirm that both are accurate.
“For clarity’s sake, however, he had already been given extra time off until July 18 and was reminded that there are three years remaining on his contract, we consider him to be a Villa player and expect that he will be with us for the 2013-14 season.
“Having received his transfer request, we have also informed him that should we receive an offer within an appropriate timeframe during pre-season which meets our valuation we would act upon it. But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen.”