Aston Villa outcast Darren Bent could yet end up back in south London according to the latest rumours, as Ian Holloway looks to strengthen his Selhurst Park strike force.
Crystal Palace are currently odds on at 8/15 to make an immediate return to the second tier, however, Bent’s signature can keep the Eagles flying high.
Until now the race to secure Bent’s services for the forthcoming season had been a two-horse affair, with Fulham and Newcastle emerging as his only suitors.
Nevertheless, developments over the last 24 hours indicate newly promoted Palace are the latest club to join the race to sign the England striker.
Palace co-chairman Steve Parish told Sky Sports News: “Darren’s a fantastic player isn’t he? I think that you know again there are a number of players that we are looking at.”
There are also a few key factors which could work in the Palace’s favour as well, not least because Bent is desperate to force his way back into the England fold in a World Cup season.
With Loic Remy’s arrival at Newcastle imminent, Bent would likely slip to third in the pecking order behind the Frenchman and Papiss Cisse also, meaning his chances of regular starts would be jeopardised.
Similarly, at Craven Cottage Martin Jol already has high-profile pairing Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega to call upon in the striking department.
Bent also hails from south of the Thames, having been born in Tooting, enjoying a rise to prominence firing in Premier League goals for Charlton between 2005-2007.
Of course, Bent has since gone on to score consistently at the top level for Tottenham, Sunderland – where he finished third in Premier League scoring charts with 24 – and most recently Villa, before falling out with Paul Lambert.
It’s so often the case that freshly promoted Championship sides manage to compete, but simply struggle to score enough goals to survive.
<strong>All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.</strong>