Liverpool is prepared to up the ante in order to land Christian Benteke, its top target of the summer 2015 transfer window.

Liverpool will offer Aston Villa £32.5 million ($50.6 million) to sign Benteke, The Telegraph and The Liverpool Echo reported Thursday. Liverpool’s impending offer will trigger the release clause contained in Benteke’s contract, preventing Aston Villa from blocking his exit.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers reportedly has been interested in signing Benteke for over a year. Benteke has been Aston Villa’s chief attacking threat for most of the last three seasons, during which he scored 49 goals in 101 games for the Villans. Benteke, 24, now could be ready to move to a higher-profile club and join Liverpool’s reconstructed strike force.

Benteke’s current contract with Aston Villa runs until 2017, but his current team is legally bound by his release clause to proceed with the transfer process. Once Liverpool makes a formal transfer bid for Benteke, he will be allowed to open contract negotiations with Liverpool if he wants to do so.

If Benteke ultimately signs with Liverpool at that price, he will be the Reds’ second-most expensive signing in history, behind Andy Carroll’s £35 million ($55 million) transfer from Newcastle in 2011.

Benteke also would be Liverpool’s seventh signing of the summer, taking its transfer spending this window close to the £80 million mark or thereabouts.

Rodgers: LFC must sign top striker in summer 2015 >>

Benteke’s bicycle-kick goal vs. Norwich City (GIF) >>

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@TeleFootball