It’s been a nightmarish past three seasons for English-born striker Darren Bent, and it seemed he would finally get a change of scenery this summer with Aston Villa ready to sell.
Unfortunately, few have come forward with any interest, and those who have are making mostly half-hearted attempts at his services.
Bent scored 24 goals for Sunderland in the 2009/10 season starting 38 league matches for the Black Cats, but it’s been all downhill from there.
He made a high-profile £18 million ($27.5 million) move to Villa Park the following winter, but has not delivered since. With the 29-year-old making just eight starts and netting just three times last season at Villa Park, his Villa career now accounts for 21 goals in 45 league starts over the past three seasons.
So, seeking a new venture to turn his fortunes back on the rise, one would think a striker who’s once scored upwards of 20 league goals would be in demand no matter the circumstances.
That’s not turning out to be the case with Bent.
Set to turn 30 in February, only Newcastle and Fulham have reportedly shown any serious interest, but neither have pounced yet.
Looking for a partner to compliment the prolific Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham have seemingly balked at both Villa’s £6 million ($9.1 million) valuation and Bent’s wage demands at one point rumored to be £80,000-per-week ($122,000).
Newcastle are in the mix but already have Papiss Cisse and are rumored to be heavily involved in acquiring the cheaper Loic Remy from QPR and the younger Bafetimbi Gomis of Lyon.
So will anyone really come in for Bent? Or will someone in either the Villa camp or Bent camp have to capitulate to allow him to leave?
There’s absolutely no chance Bent would stay at Villa Park given the explosion of Christian Benteke, so will anyone pony up for the man who once was?