First Sneijder then Drogba… next Darren Bent?

Galatasaray are reported to be lining up a summer move for Villa’s out of favour striker Darren Bent. If a move was successful it would be third time lucky for the Turkish outfit’s pursuit of the England forward.

Galatasaray have been flexing their financial muscle of late. In a high profile January transfer window they captured Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan and forward Didier Drogba from Shanghai Shenhua.

Both players may tell you that the lure of Champion’s League football was enough to convince them to move to Istanbul. Yet the ugly truth of the matter must be money motivated. Not many clubs in Europe would have been able to match the wages offered by Galatasaray, especially considering the fact that players there don’t have to pay nearly as much in tax on their wages compared to other countries in Europe.

Now the Turkish giants have reportedly turned their attention to Aston Villa’s Darren Bent in the summer. The England striker has fallen out of favour at Villa Park and when given a rare chance he has done little to stake a claim to be reintroduced to the first team. Namely because Villa fans have a new hero in Christian Benteke, a player that has far more to his game than just goals.

The reason for Bent’s exclusion from the first team this season has left many baffled. Villa fan’s have varying theories as to what is behind the manager’s decision. One being that Randy Lerner didn’t want Bent to surpass a certain number of league appearances for Villa, thus avoiding having to pay further fees to Sunderland in accordance with the original terms of the rising transfer fee. That way of thinking now however seems unlikely.

Another theory was that Paul Lambert didn’t like the way that Bent reacted to one of his training ground rituals. Apparently Lambert has a habit of making the player that performs the worst during training wear a bright ‘stand out’ bib for the next session. Rumours have surfaced that during Lambert’s first week in charge that player was Darren Bent, who took exception to the boss’s rule and refused to wear the bib. This theory again seems a little unlikely as, although Lambert possesses the Scottish trait of stubbornness, it would be detrimental to hold this sort of grudge for such a long time.

The simple truth of the matter is that Bent probably hasn’t shown enough hunger in training and that he prefers the likes of Benteke, Agbonlahor and Weimann. That said, it seems almost certain that Bent will be surplus to requirements at Villa Park next season, whether they survive relegation or not, as owner Randy Lerner has told Lambert that he needs to trim the clubs wage bill.

Galatasaray have been a long term admirer of Bent, having twice tried to sign him whilst at Sunderland. The Turkish giants would have no problem matching the £10m region that Villa would demand for their record purchase. The problem would come if Bent remained adamant that he wanted to stay and prove himself at another club in England.

Villa fans won’t be too perturbed to see Bent chased by Galatasaray, at this moment in time it makes a refreshing change from Benteke being linked with all and sundry. He being the player that Villa fans would be most pained to see leave in the summer.

image: © wonker

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