Darren Bent Stoke City transfer target

Get Bent! Stoke favourites to sign 10m Villa striker after Lambert hauls him off at half-time

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:38 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 30 January 2013

Stoke are leading the chase to sign Darren Bent after the striker was substituted at half-time during Aston Villa's 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle last night.

The England international has started just seven Premier League games this season with Villa boss Paul Lambert preferring to use Christian Benteke as a lone striker.

He was given a chance last night but Lambert was clearly not impressed.

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Up to eight Premier League clubs are known to be monitoring Bent's situation but Villa, who fell into the bottom three after last night's defeat, do not want to sell to clubs near the foot of the table.

Stoke do not fall into that category and if they are prepared to meet Villa's 10million asking price then Bent could be theirs.

The 28-year-old's 75,000-a-week wage
demands could prove a stumbling block but with both Villa and Bent keen
to part ways a deal could be forced through before the transfer window
shuts tomorrow night.

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Bent, who has 16 caps for England, cost
Villa 18m rising to 24m only two years ago but they are prepared to
cut their losses and let the former Sunderland and Tottenham man leave.

Stoke's pursuit of Bent has been stepped up as QPR attempt to lure Potters striker Peter Crouch back to Loftus Road.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis confirmed he received an inquiry from his QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp about Crouch.

'Harry has rung me up and asked me about the possibility,' Pulis said.

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

'I have spoken to Peter about it and
then it is up to Peter whether he wants to go. Peter is very happy here
and he has made that clear.

'The important thing for me is that if he does want to go, it has to be right for us and also we have to make sure we have someone who will come in and do the same job.

'To do all that over two days is going to be ever so difficult.'