Fulham emerge as clear favourites to sign striker Darren Bent
Newcastle United’s bid falls well short of Aston Villa’s and striker’s expectations
Aston Villa’s Darren Bent: surplus to requirements at Villa Park under current manager Paul Lambert’s reign. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Fulham have emerged as the clear frontrunners to sign Darren Bent after Newcastle United’s bid to recruit the 29-year-old striker faltered.
Newcastle have been monitoring Bent’s position for some time, with Alan Pardew keen to bring in the former England international to bolster his forward line, although the chances of that happening appear increasingly slim on the back of preliminary talks that revealed there is a considerable financial shortfall to bridge.
Joe Kinnear, Newcastle’s director of football, met Bent’s representatives earlier this week and it is understood that the package put forward falls well short of Villa’s expectations, as well as those of a player who has scored more than 100 Premier League goals and averaged one every other game in the top flight across the past eight seasons.
Villa are holding out for €7 million for Bent, who has two years left on his contract and cost them a club-record €20 million rising to €27 million when they signed him from Sunderland in January 2011.
Newcastle, however, were hoping to sign Bent for less than the €4.5 million bid that Fulham have already had rejected in one of two offers submitted by the London club.
With Bent’s personal terms also a major stumbling block for Newcastle, the club will have to come up with a vastly-improved offer if they are to re-enter the race for the striker, who is also attracting interest from Crystal Palace.
Newcastle have failed with a bid worth almost €8 million for Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis, who has only 12 months left on his contract, while they are continuing to explore the possibility of taking Loic Remy on loan from Queens Park Rangers.