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Transfer Rater: Bellerin to Barcelona


Darren Bent poised for Fulham loan

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has confirmed that striker Darren Bent is set to join Fulham on loan this season.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert appears to have made it clear that Darren Bent's future lies away from the club
Bent is looking for regular first-team football.

• Hughes: Season preview

Villa have spent most of the transfer window trying to secure a permanent £6 million sale of the striker, with Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Fulham all possible destinations.

Fulham manager Martin Jol appears to have won the contest with Bent expected to undergo a medical on Thursday, after being given permission to move to Craven Cottage on a temporary basis.

"He has gone down there and as I understand it he is having a medical," Lambert said. "We will have to wait and see what the outcome of that is, but if it all goes through then we expect him to go there on loan for the season."

Bent looked set to join Crystal Palace late on Wednesday evening, with manager Ian Holloway confident of signing the 29-year-old.

Fulham have moved swiftly to head off all competition and have agreed to pay a loan fee in the region of £2 million as well as contributing to the majority of Bent's £65,000-a-week wages at Villa Park.

Holloway told BBC London 94.9: "Fulham could wait a lot longer than we could so we've tried to force it, they've stepped in, took our deal.

"I was told last night he was coming to us. I was told this morning he was coming to us. It's life. They [Fulham] are bigger sharks than us. My chairman's going to have to get used to that."

Bent's preferred destination had been St James' Park and according to sources close to the player there was a late request to Newcastle to see if director of football Joe Kinnear was prepared to enter the loan market.

He was the subject of a £4 million bid from Fulham last month, which was rejected by Villa and Fulham refused to meet Villa's valuation of the striker, who cost them £24 million from Sunderland in January 2011.

Bent has been desperate to bring a conclusion to a difficult last 12 months at Villa, where he has been sidelined under Lambert, largely due to the emergence of Christian Benteke.

He was also exiled from training with the first-team squad when he returned for pre-season and told he would not feature in Lambert's plans.

Bent wants to get back into Premier League action and reproduce the form he showed when he first moved to Villa to try to force his way back into the World Cup plans of England manager Roy Hodgson.


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