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Darren Bent seals 24m move from Sunderland to Aston Villa

18 Jan 2011 19:37:01

Darren Bent seals 24m move from Sunderland to Aston Villa

Aston Villa have smashed their transfer record in signing Sunderland striker Darren Bent in a deal which could eventually be worth £24million. Villa are splashing out an initial £18m for Bent but additional add-ons mean the final figure could rise by another £6m. The England player is in line to make his debut in Saturday evening's home Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City. New home: Bent settles in at Villa Park after completing his big-money move from top-flight rivals Sunderland The four-and-a-half year deal was completed today (Tuesday) after Bent agreed personal terms and passed a medical. Bent's capture surpasses Villa's previous transfer record of £12m which was paid for James Milner (Newcastle) and Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) respectively. The 26-year-old moved from Tottenham to the Stadium Of Light 18 months ago and scored 25 goals in his first season for the Black Cats. Bent has been less prolific during the current campaign but has scored 81 Premier League goals in the last five seasons - a figure only bettered by Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney on 82 apiece. Off the mark: Bent's only England goal to date came against Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier last year Bent began his career with Ipswich a decade ago and also had a spell with Charlton before a £16.5m switch to Tottenham in 2007. He spent two years at White Hart Lane before moving to Sunderland during the summer of 2009. In total he has scored 128 league goals in 308 appearances. Bent has won seven senior England caps and scored his first goal for his country during the Euro qualifier with Switzerland in Basle in September. His signing will take Villa's potential spending in this transfer window close to the £30m mark after already signing Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun for £6m. Villa boss Gerard Houllier is also still interested in Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam and is looking to bring in a new left-back. Bent said: 'Aston Villa is a massive football club and as soon as I knew they were interested in signing me I wanted to join. 'The size of the football club and the history of the club are major reasons for me coming here. Gutted: Sunderland manager Bruce is not happy 'There are some top, top players here too, real quality, and I've been able to speak to the manager and the owner about their ambitions for the club. 'I'm very excited about being a part of what we hope to achieve.' However, Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was not happy to be losing the England striker. He said: 'It's hugely disappointing that Darren has decided that his future lies away from Sunderland and the players, our supporters and the club as a whole have every right to feel massively let down. 'The timing is especially hard to take, given that we are progressing positively and are in a great position to push on. 'Everyone has been nothing but supportive of Darren in his time at Sunderland but it's obvious he's not been himself in training and we've certainly not seen the best of him in games in recent weeks - and we now understand why. 'I've always stated that my aim is to build a talented, young squad for the long term to help the club achieve sustained success and I want Sunderland fans to know that our ambitions haven't changed on that front.' Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn added: 'Darren has now left the club and it's important we move on quickly. 'We've worked hard in the last 36 hours to get what we feel is a fair price for him. Of course it presents us with significant challenges from a football perspective which we didn't envisage, but we'll deal with it and are working hard to find a solution both in the short-term and more importantly the longer term.'  Hell Bent on staying alive: Worried Lerner hands Houllier war chest for Villa's survival missionColin Young: Bent's fantasy deal brings Sunderland crashing back to earthClub-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during JanuaryAll the latest Sunderland news, features and opinionAll the latest Aston Villa news, features and opinion  Explore more:People: Darren Bent, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, James Milner, Gerard Houllier, Charlie Adam, Steve Bruce, Niall Quinn Places: Newcastle, Lyon, United Kingdom, Switzerland


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