Bent open to Aston Villa stay

Striker Darren Bent has revealed that he would be happy to stay at Aston Villa and fight for his place should he be handed a new contract in the summer, Sky Sports has reported.

The former England star’s current deal is up at the end of this season, so could be a free agent with Championship club Derby County keen to bring him back after a successful loan spell which has just come to an end. He scored an impressive 10 goals while at the iPro Stadium, but was unable to prevent them from sliding out of the promotion picture.

Signed for a club record £24m by Gerard Houllier in January 2011, Bent’s spell at Villa has been largely a frustrating one. He was out of favour for much of Paul Lambert’s time in charge in the West Midlands and spent the whole of last season on loan at Fulham as Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann became the preferred front three.

But while he would be open to a return to Derby, Bent is also keen to try and re-establish himself at Villa Park. He said: ‘It is a fantastic football club, I would be lying if I said it wouldn’t be nice to go back. But at the same time I have had a great time at Derby, they are firmly in my thoughts too, so I will go away and have a think in the summer.

“Everyone wants to play in the Premier League, it’s the best league in the world, but if not then Derby in the Championship would be a good option.’

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