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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 5, 2007

Knee injury forces Pardew to plot Bent sale

Charlton manager Alan Pardew admits the recent injury suffered by striker Darren Bent has forced him to listen to offers for the England international.

The Premiership strugglers had been expected to reject all bids for their leading goalscorer during the January transfer window as they attempt to preserve their top-flight status.

But Bent, 22, is currently sidelined with a knee injury sustained in the recent clash with Aston Villa.

The complaint could keep him out until mid-February and his absence has prompted Pardew into a re-think.

The Addicks boss has now conceded that it could be in the club's best interests to cash in on their prize asset if that releases funds for a significant spending spree later in the month.

He said: 'We have been getting a few phone calls from clubs asking about our players and there has been some interest in Darren Bent.

'That was always going to happen in the transfer window and, a short time ago, my decision would have been to say quite categorically that he wasn't going anywhere.

'But his injury has made me think a bit differently. I have to look at his fitness every day and see whether it is improving or whether he is going to be out for long time. In our situation, that might be too much.

'If someone is going to go for him in this window, they will have to wait six weeks before they can play him. They might be in the position to do that but I might not be.'

Bent has become one of the most highly-prized assets in the top flight thanks to his form over the last two seasons.

He scored 22 goals in his first Premiership season last year and has notched another 11 this term, despite playing in a struggling team.

A host of clubs including West Ham, Aston Villa and Tottenham have been linked with moves for the striker and the news that he is available is sure to prompt a frenzy of activity before the transfer window closes on 31 January.

Pardew, meanwhile, has launched a fierce attack on the Football Association's decision to extend defender Osei Sankofa's ban to two matches.

The FA imposed the sanction after deciding that the Addicks' appeal against Sankofa's original one-match ban for a professional foul on Arsenal's Robin van Persie in Tuesday's 4-0 defeat at the Emirates stadium was `frivolous'.

But Pardew said: 'There's a bit of grief about the decision, especially with the FA's use of the word `frivolous'.

'I have never heard of anything like this happening before and, to be honest, I am quite astonished that it has happened.

'I'm not going to try and get Sankofa off now but I certainly want the extension to be overturned, especially as we were told it would be in our interest to appeal.

'I don't know why the word `frivolous' was used because it was totally inappropriate.'

Pardew - who also confirmed that former Hull boss Phil Parkinson has been appointed as his assistant manager until the end of the season - has urged his team to give their survival hopes a lift with a morale-boosting FA Cup run.

The Addicks face a potentially awkward trip to Coca-Cola League One high-fliers Nottingham Forest tomorrow, but Pardew has fond memories of the competition after leading West Ham to the final at Cardiff's Millennium stadium last season.

He added: 'This is a competition which has always meant a lot to me and I obviously enjoyed it a lot last year.

'But this is a tough fixture. I've always found it hard to get a result at the City Ground as a manager and they are being reborn under a very bright young manager in Colin Calderwood.

'It's a big game for both clubs and we need a victory to get back that winning mentality. People will see it as a potential upset but we have to focus on our jobs.'