Darren Bent in line to join Fulham
Darren Bent is pinning his hopes on resurrecting his Premier League career and World Cup hopes at Fulham after Newcastle ended their interest in signing him, a source has told ESPN.
Bent's future now rests on Fulham making an official bid of £6 million - expected to happen in the next couple of days - after his preferred move to the North East collapsed on Wednesday.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew wanted to link up again with the striker, who he first managed at Charlton, but it appears the attitude of Magpies director of football Joe Kinnear has ended all hopes Bent had of a reunion.
According to reports, Bent and his agent were far from impressed following a meeting with Kinnear, who suggested he would offer Villa only £2 million for the England international.
Villa are understood to be holding out for at least £6 million after reducing the £10 million price tag they had placed on a player who cost them £24 million from Sunderland in 2011.
So far, however, the only official offer they have received - of £4 million from Fulham - has been rejected. The Londoners have since had further discussions with Villa and are believed to be preparing to make a second bid.
Bent's £65,000-a-week wages at Villa are also believed to have been a major obstacle to a move to St James' Park, with Newcastle prepared to offer only half that amount.
Fulham are in a position to come closer to Bent's wage demands and are hopeful that, with Newcastle out of the running, they will be able to conclude a deal.
Bent is currently training away from the first team squad at Villa after being told he has no future under manager Paul Lambert.
Villa chairman Randy Lerner is in no rush to allow Bent to leave on the cheap and remains relaxed about the situation, but would prefer a resolution to the impasse that would allow all parties to move on.