Hull rivalling Newcastle for Aston Villa outcast Bent

Steve Bruce wants Hull City to beat Newcastle to the signing of Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, having previously worked with the out-of-favour forward at Sunderland, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Bruce took Bent to Wearside from Tottenham Hotspur and believes the 29-year-old could be the striker to score the goals to keep the Tigers in the top flight, having looked at and missed out on the likes of Celtic striker Gary Hooper, Wigan’s Arouna Kone and Burnley’s Charlie Austin.

Alan Pardew is said to want Bent at Newcastle but there is doubt over the Magpies’ move for the former England international as, approaching 30, he would offer little to no resale value. Both Newcastle and Hull would also require Bent to take a pay cut from his reported £70,000 per week at Villa Park, although both clubs could pay Villa’s £6m asking price.

Bent was only sporadically used last season by Villa manager Paul Lambert, who preferred the trio of Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann. Gerard Houllier, one of Lambert’s predecessors, paid Sunderland £24m for Bent little over two years ago.

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