TRANSFER TALK Newcastle can get Bent .... but so can Fulham

Cottager or Magpie? Looks like Darren Bent has options.
Cottager or Magpie? Looks like Darren Bent has options.
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FULHAM are rumoured to be ready to make a bid for Darren Bent – the former Sunderland striker who has emerged as Newcastle United’s number one strike target this summer.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew sees the former England striker as the man to get goals for Newcastle next season and has left it in the hands of Director of Football Joe Kinnear to secure the deal.

Pardew knows Bent’s career has gone hit the buffers since leaving Sunderland in January 2011 for a lucrative move to Aston Villa but the United boss believes he can get the 29-year-old back in the sort of form which saw him 32 goals in 58 Premier League appearances for Sunderland.

The United boss could do with signing up Bent quickly – given that main striker Papiss Cisse looks to be on his way out of St James’s Park in a row over the club’s Wonga sponsored football strip.

But according to the Sunday People, Fulham boss Martin Jol is set to step in with a firm £5m bid for the striker.

That is the price Villa say would trigger a move away from Villa Park and Fulham, under new and super-rich ownership, would have no problem paying that fee.

Bent’s £65,000 a week wages might be an issue but Villa are so anxious to get him off the books they may consider making up any shortfall in what Fulham would be prepared to offer the player.

Bent is prepared to consider the offer but knows the potentially negative passions that might conjure in the North East both on Tyneside and Wearside.

And a less controversial move, back to London, is likely to appeal

Should he got to Craven Cottage, he will link up with former Sunderland team-mate Kieran Richardson and is also likely to be joined by Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley who is lining up a move to the Londoners.