Crystal Palace set sights on cut-price Aston Villa exile

Darren Bent looks unlikely to remain with relegated Fulham and is unwanted at Aston Villa, something that could pave the way for a Crystal Palace move.

Having previously rejected a move to Selhurst Park, former England striker Darren Bent may be forced to swallow his pride if he wishes to remain in the Premier League next season.

The Eagles launched a summer bid for the Ipswich Town academy graduate, with then-manager Ian Holloway keen to make Bent the focal point of his newly-promoted team’s attack.

Bent was out-of-favour with Aston Villa at the time, as manager Paul Lambert opted to build his team around the talents of Christian Benteke, something that left little room for the 30-year-old, who still had aspirations of forcing his way into England’s World Cup plans.

But rather than move to Palace, where he would have likely enjoyed first-team football week-in, week-out, the forward opted for Fulham, where a succession of managers have rotated the side, to little success with the Cottagers relegated from the Premier League following a 4-1 loss to Stoke City at the Britannia.

It could have all been so different with the Eagles, who instead brought in Cameron Jerome and Marouane Chamakh in a bid to bolster their forward line.

Both have had some success on the pitch this term, with Palace enjoying an incredible rejuvenation under Tony Pulis which has left the club dreaming of big things for next season.

And despite the initial snub, it would appear that Pulis and co. are still keen on bringing Bent to Selhurst Park, with rumours surfacing last month suggesting the club would be willing to shell out £4 million to sign the player permanently from Villa.

That could depend on the forward eating his words, though, with Bent previously proclaiming in an interview with the Evening Standard: “I could only ever see myself coming to Fulham.”

But with the Cottagers down and Bent unlikely to favour a return to the Championship and a potential reunion with the Tractor Boys, the time for a U-turn could be fast approaching.

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