Bruce will fight to keep Bent

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will fight to keep Darren Bent at the Stadium of Light should his leading scorer be the subject of summer interest.

Bent, 26, has scored 24 goals for the Black Cats during a prolific first season on Wearside.

The England World Cup hopeful joined Sunderland from Tottenham in a £10million deal last summer and Bruce has promised to do everything in his power to ensure his stay lasts longer than one season.

"Please God no! He has been huge for us and the one thing we don't want to do is sell our best players," said Bruce.

"There is no authority above me saying I have to sell. We need more Darren Bents. We need to look at his sort of ilk and find players of his calibre and quality.

"It hasn't surprised me he scored 20 goals. He did it last year at Tottenham coming off the bench near enough, he did it at Charlton, at Ipswich. He's always done it.

"This club's got the ability to resist. The clubs I have been at before didn't resist.

"At Wigan we sold, at Birmingham we sold when the offer was big enough for (Matthew) Upson.

"I don't think it will happen here unless we are talking ridiculous prices."

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