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Bent seals Aston Villa switch

New Aston Villa striker Darren Bent said he can't way to play for "a massive football club" after completing his transfer from Sunderland on Tuesday.

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Bent will be officially unveiled as a Villa player at 1900 GMT following his move from the Stadium of Light for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £24 million including add-ons..

The former Tottenham and Charlton frontman has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Villa and becomes Gerard Houllier's second January signing after Jean Makoun, who arrived from Lyon for £6 million last week.

Bent completed a medical and agreed personal terms and will be available to make his Villa debut against Manchester City on Saturday at Villa Park.

"Aston Villa is a massive football club and as soon as I knew they were interested in signing me I wanted to join," Bent said. "The size of the football club and the history of the club are major reasons for me coming here.

"There are some top, top players here too, real quality, and I've been able to speak to the manager and the chairman about their ambitions for the club, so I'm very excited about being a part of what we hope to achieve."

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was fuming at Bent's exit. He told the club's official website: "It's hugely disappointing that Darren has decided that his future lies away from Sunderland and the players, our supporters and the club as a whole have every right to feel massively let down.

"The timing is especially hard to take, given that we are progressing positively and are in a great position to push on. Everyone has been nothing but supportive of Darren in his time at Sunderland but it's obvious he's not been himself in training and we've certainly not seen the best of him in games in recent weeks - and we now understand why.

"I've always stated that my aim is to build a talented, young squad for the long-term to help the club achieve sustained success and I want Sunderland fans to know that our ambitions haven't changed on that front."


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