Brighton lining up loan move for Aston Villa's Darren Bent - report

Aston Villa misfit Darren Bent could be heading to Brighton & Hove Albion on loan, if reports are to be believed.

Brighton & Hove Albion are lining up a loan move for out-of-favour Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, according to Sky Sports.

Bent, 30, is in the final season of his contract at Villa Park, and has continued to find first-team opportunities sparse under manager Paul Lambert.

The former England international spent last season on loan at Fulham, where he scored just six times in 30 games, and is still to start a Premier League match this term, making seven substitute appearances for a total of 83 minutes.

Arriving from Sunderland in the winter of 2011 for a club-record fee of £18 million, Bent managed to net nine goals over the second-half of the 2010-11 campaign under Gerard Houllier to help steer the club clear of relegation, but has since failed to deliver the same production.

With a record of 15 goals in 69 league games since the start of the 2011-12 season, his form has been in stark contrast to that which once made him one of the top-flight’s most coveted marksmen.

Nevertheless, with Brighton sitting 20th in the Championship table at present, having taken 18 points from 18 games, one suspects that the ex-Tottenham Hotspur front man could at least offer Sami Hyypia’s side a certain degree of quality in the attacking third.

It remains to be seen whether Lambert would allow Bent to leave, however, despite his bench-warming status, but it should be noted that Brighton already have two Villa loanees on their books in promising midfielder Gary Gardner and left-back Joe Bennett.

He was linked with short-term move to former club Charlton Athletic in September but, while Addicks boss Bob Peeters denied interest at the time, it’s believed that other offers have since been rebuffed.

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