Newcastle to offer Bent way out of Aston Villa

Newcastle want to end Darren Bent’s time on the sidelines at Aston Villa, ESPN has reported, and the striker is willing to take a pay cut to make the move happen.

Bent – a former Sunderland striker – worked with Magpies manager Alan Pardew at Charlton Athletic and understands that to move back to the North East would require a significant reduction in his £65,000 per week wage packet.

Villa paid £18m to the Black Cats to sign Bent in January 2011 but was not among new manager Paul Lambert’s preferred XI for much of last season, with Lambert preferring the likes of Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann, who has just signed a new contract at the Midlands club. Villa are also close to signing Nicklas Helenius, a Denmark international forward.

A fee of £6m has been mooted for Bent, a third of the figure Villa paid when managed by Gerard Houllier, with owner Randy Lerner happy to see the deal go through in order to get Bent’s hefty wage off the books.

Last season, Bent made 23 appearances under Lambert, scoring six goals. He has also previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, having started his career at Ipswich Town and was linked with a move to Fulham in the winter transfer window.

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