It has been reported today that Aston Villa are ready to cash in on Darren Bent, with the striker failing to see eye to eye with manager Paul Lambert so far this season.
So where could he be off to?
The striker troubles at Anfield are well documented, with Liverpool unwisely allowing Andy Carroll to go on loan without signing a replacement. This has been compounded by the fractured foot suffered by Fabio Borini, and if anything were to happen to Luis Suarez, the word 'crisis' would begin to be rolled out. The club will be in the market for a new striker in January, and Bent if he is for sale, is a proven commodity in the Premier League. He may not be the exciting big name Liverpool fans dream of, but he has to be worth consideration.
QPR just can't resist signing players, especially strikers, and Mark Hughes doesn't mind how many he has. Of course Hughes may not be in post come January, and if it is Harry Redknapp as has been touted, the possibility of Bent signing for QPR is unlikely given their fallout at Spurs. However it has already been reported that owner Tony Fernandes is keen on the player, and while he sticks with Hughes as boss, there is every chance more big money will be spent on Darren Bent as they attempt to rise up the table and achieve their ambitions.
It has been reported that Brendan Rodgers has the option to recall Andy Carroll in January. If Liverpool did exercise this option, it would leave the Hammers needing to sign a replacement. West Ham showed with their sizeable offer to sign Carroll permanently during the summer, that they have money available if needed, any may turn to Bent as the next best thing. Sam Allardyce is renowned for getting the best out of players who have had indifferent spells elsewhere, and Bent may thrive on his man management skills.
The Saints shocked the rest of the Premier League when they splashed out on Gaston Ramirez this summer, beating the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham to his signature. They will need to spend big once again in January if they are to give themselves a better chance of fighting survival, and Bent would certainly improve their chances. He may consider it a step down, but Southampton beat Villa 4-1 earlier this season so Bent will be well aware of what they can do.
Newcastle may have been given some good news that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse's Senegal have failed to qualify for the African Nations Cup, but Ba remains consistently linked with a move away, with Liverpool strongly interested. If he were to leave, then Newcastle would have to re-enter the market for a replacement, and a striker with Bent's goalscoring record would be difficult to ignore.
Where do you expect Bent to sign if he leaves Villa?
image: © wonker