Sunderland striker Darren Bent has handed in a transfer request after Aston Villa made an £18million move for the England international.
He has scored 36 goals in 63 appearances during his time on Wearside following his £10million move from Tottenham 18 months ago.
He scored his 11th goal of the season in last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat by Notts County, but has managed just two in his last nine games and drew a blank in yesterday’s 1-1 derby draw with Newcastle.
Sunderland have yet to respond to Bent’s request to leave although reports suggest that they accepted Villa’s bid
Villa boss Gerard Houllier is looking to strengthen his attacking options having watched his side score just 24 goals in 22 Premier League games this season.
Houllier has already splashed out £6million to sign Jean II Makoun in January, in addition to bringing in Kyle Walker on loan.