Aston Villa stand firm on Bent asking price

Aston Villa are unwilling to waiver over their £8m asking price for striker Darren Bent, the Daily Telegraph has reported, amid interest from Newcastle, Fulham and Hull City.

Bent was out of favour under Paul Lambert last season, with the former Norwich City manager preferring a front three of Andy Weimann, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke, but Bent’s hefty £65,000 per week contract means Villa would prefer to see him sold rather than languish as a reserve.

But Villa owner Randy Lerner is adamant about recouping a substantial chunk of the £18m – since risen to £24m – paid to Sunderland for the England international in January 2011. Newcastle – new director of football Joe Kinnear included – are said to be particularly keen on Bent but his wages and price tag could prove restrictive.

Villa have this summer signed Aalborg striker Nicklas Helenius for a fee of £2m, as well as clinching the signatures of midfielder Leandro Bacuna, winger Alex Tonev and centre-back Jores Okore, as well as agreeing a new contract with youth team product Weimann.

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