... that was BEFORE the arrival of Joe Kinnear.
And since then Alan Pardew's wish-list has gone on the fire.
Aston Villa confirmed today that they have not yet had any enquiries over Bent.
They are willing to sell the former England striker for £8million, and apparently Newcastle were top of the sides "interested".
But so far Villa have heard nothing.
Bent, 29, is their record signing as he cost £18m plus add-ons when he joined in 2011.
But last season the forward started just 12 matches, and boss Paul Lambert has no plans for him as a regular first teamer next term.
Source: Newcastle United Mad