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West Ham United and Spurs are battling to sign Charlton striker Darren Bent.

The Hammers were reported to be close to clinching a £17m deal for the 23-year-old striker after offering him a five-year deal worth £75,000-a-week.

West Ham’s offer is believed to comprise £16m plus the midfielder Hayden Mullins, with whom the Charlton manager, Alan Pardew, worked at Upton Park.

Alan Curbishley, West Ham’s manager, was reported to be returning last night from holiday to complete the transfer, but it has also been claimed that Spurs have entered the race by making an undisclosed bid for Bent.

Liverpool were also interested in Bent, but were not prepared to match the financial outlay of the other clubs.

If Bent decides to join West Ham, he will reunite with Curbishley, who spent £2.75m to bring the striker to Charlton from Ipswich two years ago.

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