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Bent: Money not a factor in Villa move

Aston Villa's new record signing Darren Bent has insisted money was not the motivation behind his switch to the Midlands club.

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Bent was officially unveiled as a Villa player on Tuesday and he stated he made the move for "footballing reasons".

"I'm delighted to join Aston Villa," Bent told a press conference. "It's a big opportunity for me. I had some good times at Sunderland but that's all behind me now and I'm just looking forward to getting going.

"Obviously everyone's got different opinions about why I've come to Aston Villa. I've shown in the past when I could have gone to West Ham for a lot more money but I chose Tottenham for footballing reasons and I've done the same here.

"Sunderland are having a fantastic season but at the same time, I believe Aston Villa's position at the moment is false. They finished sixth last year and obviously it's a new challenge for me and something I wanted to be a part of and try and help them get back up to where they should be."

Villa boss Gerard Houllier believes the transfer demonstrates the club's ambition and he is confident the 26-year-old will be worth his reported £18 million price tag.

"We are absolutely delighted to have him here and we know he will be atremendous asset for the months and the years ahead," Houllier said.

"His arrival sends out a clear message about the ambition of our football club. We've brought him down here to spearhead our efforts and to help build something strong and lasting at our club."

"Darren's arrival is a key element of our football strategy and philosophy, which the chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner and I have discussed since my appointment as manager."

The former Liverpool boss also moved to end rumours that wingers Stewart Downing and Ashley Young may have to leave to finance the deal.

"They're not or sale - simple as that,'' he said of the England pair. "Stewart and Ashley... they won't be leaving. No, not at all. They're rumours.

"If you buy a player of that calibre that means the chairman is backing you - financially and also I would say from a footballing point of view. I think his arrival is a major coup for the club."

Former Tottenham and Charlton striker Bent is also relishing the prospect of linking up with Downing and Young in the Villa team.

"With Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, there's a fantastic supply line. It's just up to me to work on my finishing and try to put the chances away."

Bent could make his Villa debut in their home match against high-flyers Manchester City on Saturday.


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