Monday, 17th January 2011 

Sunderland suffered a shock earlier today when their chief goal-getter Darren Bent expressed his wish to leave the north east club. Bent is believed to have become attracted to the prospect of a big-money move to Aston Villa, who have put in an £18M bid for the forward.

"The club can confirm that it received a written transfer request from Darren Bent following yesterday’s Wear-Tyne derby match", said a statement released on Sunderland’s website.

Villa are thought to have offered the £18M up front for Bent, as they seek to show their faith in under-fire French manager Gerard Houllier and back him in the transfer market.


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