As Liverpool's preseason tour reaches its midway point, it appears that their summer transfer business has been concluded. Having triggered the £32.5m release clause for Aston Villa's Christian Benteke earlier in the week, Liverpool have now come to an agreement on the structure of the payment, which was the last hurdle before the player could join the club.
Reports indicate that Liverpool will pay £16m of the fee up front, with the remainder paid in installments over the course of time. That limits the overall outlay this summer, and should signal an end to the summer spending unless other deals emerge in the next month and a half. The transfer fee is the second-largest in Liverpool's history, placing Benteke ahead of Roberto Firmino, who held the honor for only a few weeks earlier this summer, and behind Andy Carroll, who cost the club £35m back in January of 2011.
The Belgian international will miss the remainder of Liverpool's preseason tour as he completes his end of the deal on Merseyside, but he's expected to join Firmino, Coutinho, and Emre Can in training at Melwood this week. That leaves Benteke and the others available for the preseason's final fixture against HJK Helsinki on August 1; Liverpool also have a friendly scheduled for August 2 against Swindon Town, but the trip to Finland will take precedence and should feature a Liverpool squad close to full-strength.
Brendan Rodgers now has the striker he wanted and a squad littered with players he's had a hand in bringing to the club, with Benteke the most expensive and the one upon whom high hopes will be pinned. After faltering badly in the absence of Daniel Sturridge last season, Liverpool's attack need someone to lead from the front, and Rodgers has identified Benteke as that man. There will be support once Sturridge returns from injury, but for now, Christian Benteke will be expected to get the goals.
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