News of Joe Kinnear missing a Newcastle friendly with Motherwell to stay back and progress the transfer of Darren Bent has led to the Aston Villa striker being backed into odds-on at 2/5 to depart for Alan Pardew’s men before the closing of the summer transfer window.
Paul Lambert has been keen to get some of the higher earners off Villa’s books this summer, with Richard Dunne being released on a free before hooking up with QPR and Shay Given reportedly being on the verge of joining Doncaster, while Stephen Ireland is also up for grabs.
Christian Benteke’s transfer request has done little to improve Bent’s rank at Villa and so the wait is now for a club to pay his asking price, which is believed to be in the region of £8m, a third of what he cost from Sunderland in 2011.
Fulham were the other club seemingly interested and the appointment of Shahid Khan as the club’s new chairman means there is money to spend.
However, it is 6/1 that Bent joins Fulham in the summer transfer window, with the 29-year remaining at Villa Park considered a more likely scenario at 3/1.
Bent is now regarded as Newcastle’s number one transfer, ahead of QPR’s Loic Remy, who was also previously linked, but as with all transfers, a fee and wages need to be agreed.
Reports so far have suggested that Newcastle are only prepared to pay £5m to land Bent, while he may have to take a cut on his £65,000 a week wages.
The other possibility in the Bent deal could be a potential swap deal involving Papiss Cisse, who is reluctant to wear a shirt bearing the club’s new sponsor Wonga for religious reasons.
The club are potentially pursuing paths to allow the Senegal frontman to wear an unbranded shirt or one displaying a charity name, but if these are unsuccessful, the chances of him leaving St James’ Park must increase.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.