Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Football:Sunderland close to Bent capture


Sunderland are hopeful they will complete the signing of Tottenham and England striker Darren Bent on Tuesday.
Bent, 25, is understood to have had a medical at Sunderland on Monday and assistant manager Eric Black told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We're very close.
"I wouldn't say we're 100% confident we're going to get him and we're hopeful that in the next 24 hours he'll be a Sunderland player."
Bent would become the club's record signing if the move goes through.
The fee of about £14m would beat the previous record of £9m which Sunderland paid Hearts £9m for goalkeeper Craig Gordon in 2007.
Bent has long been a target for Black Cats boss Steve Bruce but the two clubs have, until recently, failed to reach agreement over the fee.
Black is hopeful Bent's arrival would help persuade other players to join a club that has had some trouble attracting top names to move to the Stadium of Light.
He added: "His record in the Premier League is outstanding, I think he's scored about 50 goals in 100-odd appearances, a phenomenal return.
"There's a plethora of different things we think he'll bring to Sunderland. He's a big name, he's somebody who has proved he's a Premier League striker and his return in goals per game is exceptional.

"So getting someone like him up here can only be good for us, and if it can encourage one or two others to take the leap we believe we're going in the right direction."
Bent's signing will take Sunderland's summer spending past the £20m mark.
Lorik Cana, Fraizer Campbell and Paulo da Silva have already arrived at the Stadium of Light this summer, with Bruce flexing his financial muscle following American billionaire Ellis Short's takeover of the club.
But Bruce's pursuit of Bent has proved a frustrating one, with Spurs understood to be holding out for close to the £16.5m they paid Charlton for the striker's services in 2007.
Bent has also been annoyed at the lack of movement and had to apologise on Friday for comments he made relating to the deal on social networking site Twitter.
The striker publicly criticised Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and made it clear he wanted to move to Wearside, despite interest from Stoke and Hull, but later issued a statement reading: "I appreciate that transfers are seldom straightforward.
"I regret my actions and did not intend to offend Daniel Levy or anyone with the nature or the content of my posting."
Bent has fallen down the pecking order at White Hart Lane despite topping the scoring charts last season following the arrival of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth for £9m earlier this summer.

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