Liverpool has completed the signing of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke for £32.5m.
Benteke, 24, has agreed a long-term contract at Anfield and becomes the club’s second most expensive signing ever.

The Reds triggered a release clause in his contract to make him their seventh summer signing after selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49m.

Belgium international Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 games for Villa after signing from Genk for £7m in 2012.

He told the Reds’ website: “I’m very happy to be here. I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team.

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

Liverpool struggled for goals last season following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and prolonged injury absences for England international Daniel Sturridge as they finished fifth in the Premier League.

Signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert produced three league goals and, after acknowledging the lack of scoring last season, manager Brendan Rodgers has added Benteke to revive the Reds’ attack.

Liverpool has also signed forwards Danny Ings from Burnley and Brazil international Roberto Firminio from Hoffenheim, while Benteke’s international team-mate Divock Origi has returned to the club after spending last season on loan at Lille.

Benteke missed the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil with an Achilles tendon injury but returned to action last October and scored 15 times to help Villa stay in the Premier League and reach the FA Cup final.
Former Villa manager Paul Lambert, who brought Benteke into English football, believes he will do well at Anfield.

Lambert told BBC Sport: “He’s a brilliant number nine. He won’t need just crosses to come into the box. If he gets the service he’ll get goals.

“That’s the type of guy he is and on his game he’s a handful. I’m delighted for him. He’s earned that move and if he can do what I think he can do, he’ll do great for them.
“He’s going to have to handle the expectancy level of winning [at Liverpool]. When you speak to Christian, he has a great belief in himself to do well.”