The betting on Aston Villa forgotten man Darren Bent’s club at the end of the current transfer window is proving a lively exchange and Newcastle have now usurped Fulham as 7/4 favourites to offer the ex-Spurs man a way out of his Villa Park stagnation.
Papiss Cisse was forced to shoulder the burden at centre-forward virtually single-handedly for the remainder of the season after Chelsea triggered Demba Ba’s minimum release clause in the January window, with only perennial third-choice Shola Ameobi and youngster Adam Campbell as back-up.
As a result finding a proven top flight goal-getter to share frontline centre-forward duties with the Senegalese striker is a priority for Pardew on his summer holidays.
Bent has shown that he will yield around a goal every other game at each of the five clubs he has represented at the top level, notching a total of 104 Premier League goals across nine Premier League campaigns.
Newcastle boss Pardew has profited from Tooting-born Bent’s nose for the net in the past, with the striker a very useful member of his squad at Charlton Athletic and the club’s alternative striking target Andy Carroll is thought to be off the radar due to both his transfer fee and wage-demands being too pricey for Toon coffers.
Aston Villa are willing to take substantially less than the £18m that they paid for the former England man, with a fee of around £6m doing the rounds, however it’s thought that the Toon hierarchy believe that price is still too high.
Bent will need to take a substantial cut in his wages – reportedly in the region of £70,000 a week – to sign up a St James’ Park as his current deal way out on a limb from Newcastle’s pay structure. However, the striker has just endured a miserable season at Villa, with financial concerns over add-ons owed to previous employers Sunderland contributing to a lack of playing time.
Despite representing his country 13 times and even being named in the preliminary squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Bent has never represented his country at an international tournament. It’s perhaps the chance regular playing time would give him of catching Roy Hodgson’s eye – with Brazil 2014 around the corner – that could convince him to take a pay cut to join the Magpies.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.