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Bruce fears interest in Bent could mount
Published : 22 Oct 2010 09:39:27
STEVE BRUCE fears Wayne Rooney's desire to move away from Manchester United could lead to a sudden burst of interest in his star striker, Darren Bent. A Rooney transfer to one of Europe's top teams would automatically lead to a transfer merry-go-round. And while Bent is unlikely to be on the radar of Sir Alex Ferguson, his outstanding form on Wearside would make him a viable target for clubs chasing a Champions League spot. However, while admitting that Rooney's demands are again proving it is the players with the power in modern football, Bruce claims he would fight any offer for Bent's services. When you see the records and goal scoring charts Benty is always up there. Rooney, Drogba, Bent. I hope nothing will happen, he said. That is a problem all managers face from time to time. It is the nature of football. I faced it at Wigan a few times when I had Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios, I knew they were going. It is always a worry. At Sunderland we can turn everything down but silly money. For us to part with Benty... bloody hell, it is something we won't even entertain. The topic turned to Bent after he was asked to comment on Rooney's ongoing dispute with Manchester United and Ferguson. Bruce, who worked under Ferguson during the club's glorious 90s era, thinks the situation is another indication of just how much football has changed. You can tell players under contract that they have to stay, you can go down that route, but how many times have we seen it, he said. We are talking hypothetically here but players have downed tools. It is not a healthy one but that is football. It is the unfortunate side of football and if it comes you deal with it. He added: Just shows you that the best manager in the world at one of the biggest clubs in the world can still have problems of the type that we all face. It is not for me to question Wayne Rooney but I have had the benefit of playing there for a long spell and the thing I find strange anyone questioning their ambition. I find that unbelievable. I played there for ten years. And they have always strived to win things. I remember in 1995 when Kanchelskis and Hughes left and we all scratched our heads and thought wow, what's this The Beckham, Scholes, Nevilles, Butt, came in a formed a dynasty for the next ten years which hauled in trophy after trophy so I would never question their ambition. United is no longer Bruce's concern and he is satisfied that Bent has overcome the niggling groin problem which forced him out of England's World Cup qualifier with Montenegro. He returned to action in the goalless draw with Blackburn on Monday and will start against Aston Villa tomorrow. That, though, has not stopped Bruce from expressing his concern to the England medical staff. He has been away three times with England and got injured. This is a player who we have had for 18 months and he has not been injured here, said Bruce. It wasn't sinister, I just wanted to know if he was doing anything different while with England. Nothing was solved, but it is just interesting. Kieran Richardson may miss Villa's trip to the Stadium of Light and he will be given a fitness test today. Andy Reid remains sidelined with the hamstring problem he sustained in training last weekend. Millwall manager Kenny Jackett, meanwhile, has denied claims that Liam Trotter could be on his way to Sunderland. I wouldn't welcome any move and we are not under any pressure to sell any of our players. I've had no contact from Sunderland.