Bent hints at Aston Villa exit

Darren BentDarren Bent has indicated that he is keen to depart Aston Villa at the end of the season in order to secure first-team football.

Bent has been largely restricted to substitute appearances for Villa this season under boss Paul Lambert and the 29-year-old has admitted he may be forced to move on to pastures new at the end of the campaign.

“It is about playing and, at my age, I can’t have another season like this one,” he told the Daily Star. “Time is running out.

“I’m not really one of these guys who wants to sit there, not do anything and get paid.”

Bent has two years left on his current deal at Villa Park and it has been reported that the club are keen to recoup a “large portion” of the £24million they paid for his services in January 2011.

However, the likelihood is that Villa will have to accept a significant loss on a player who is clearly out-of-favour under Lambert and has barely featured since the turn of the year, with his last Premier League start coming in the home defeat to Newcastle in January.

Bent’s chances at Villa Park this season have been restricted by Christian Benteke but the forward believes he could have developed a deadly partnership with the Belgian star had he been given more opportunities over the course of the campaign.

“He was a big guy and it looked as if the partnership would form,” he added. “But it’s not meant to be. I don’t quite know why.”

It remains to be seen who will come in for Bent in the summer but the striker’s comments are likely to alert a number of potential suitors given his impressive scoring record in the Premier League.

Fulham have been linked with Bent in the past but any move from the Cottagers could depend on whether or not they can keep hold of Dimitar Berbatov, who has been linked with a switch to Russia in recent weeks.

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