In an odd subplot to the season so far, Aston Villa's record signing has rarely featured in their first team, with persistent rumours of a confrontation with Paul Lambert. Will Bent leave in the next few days?
If Darren Bent hoped he would be able to leave Villa Park this transfer window, there is now very little time left for him to do so. Given that Aston Villa will be keen to recoup as much of his £18 million transfer fee as possible should they let him leave, extended negotiations are going to be needed, and with less than 10 days until the end of the window, Bent needs to hurry things along..
The question would be which club would want to sign Bent. There are plenty of teams that need a striker, but Bent's relatively high fee might put them off. No doubt there will be sides hoping that time pressure might force Villa to lower their asking price, and there might be more interest in Bent nearer the end of the window.
QPR have previously been linked, but they now have Loic Remy and it's surely unlikely that Harry Redknapp would be keen to sign a player that he clearly didn't fancy at Tottenham Hotspur. Fulham have also been mentioned as potential suitors, but the transfer fee might be barrier to them, and how well Bent would fit in to a system based around Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz is unknown.
Newcastle are another club that has been mentioned, as they are still looking for a replacement for Demba Ba. However recent reports suggest they are moving for Yoann Gouffran, who would be a cheaper alternative to Bent, and also likely to be happier to be behind Papiss Cisse in the pecking order.
So Bent's Premier League options are increasingly limited, and there's been no indication the player is keen on moving abroad to find a side. It might be that the time pressure at the end of the window might see clubs come in for Bent hoping that Villa would be keen to shift the player.
Perhaps the best option would be for Lambert to try and reintegrate Bent into the starting eleven to help keep his side up before moving him on in the summer, but with so much conjecture about what is going on between the two men, it's hard to know if this would be possible.
Will Darren Bent make a late move?
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