Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has been linked with both Fulham and Newcastle United in recent weeks, as it seems clear that the 29-year-old’s career at Villa Park is at an end.
Bent was on the fringes of Villa’s first team last season after the development of Christian Benteke, and he appears to be further marginalized with the addition of Danish forward Nicklas Helenius.
However, two Premier League clubs appear to be in the running to sign the England international, and both Fulham and Newcastle would present viable options for the man who Villa values at a minimum of £6 million.
Fulham are believed to be the front-runners to sign Bent, with a move back to London a real possibility for the man who also played for Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur in England’s capital city.
The Cottagers are looking to take the pressure off last season’s top goalscorer Dimitar Berbatov, who has scored 15 goals for the club since joining from Manchester United in August 2012. Since last season, they have released Mladen Petric and so are left with Bryan Ruiz, Hugo Rodallega and Marcello Trotta as first-team strikers. It would be a good fit for Bent, with opportunities to regain his scoring touch sure to be plentiful.
Meanwhile, Bent’s other suitor, Newcastle, could also be a viable option. Thankfully for the Magpies, Papiss Cisse has decided that he is able to play for the club after objecting to their sponsor, loan company Wonga.com, on religious grounds.
However, options beyond Cisse look somewhat thin. Yoan Gouffran was bought in January 2013 from Bordeaux, but scored just three goals in the final months of the season. In addition, Shola Ameobi remains injury-prone while youngsters Sammy Ameobi and Adam Campbell remain unproven at the Premier League level.
Were Bent to move to St. James Park, he could play a key role up front for the Magpies and also help the development of their younger players as a mentor, something that may appeal to him as an experienced footballer.
Either way, both options are exciting for Bent, especially as he still has plenty to offer at the Premier League level.