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Darren Bent To Aston Villa: Sunderland Striker Hands In Transfer Request

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Aston Villa have bid £18M to secure the services of Darren Bent, much to the surprise of most Sunderland fans. Bent had 25 goals last year, and quite a few Villa fans had hoped the club would fork over the cash for him in August. Considering he's already got 11 this year, that hope really hasn't faded.

£18!. Guess Randy Lerner's opening the pocketbook to save the Villa from relegation. While this might be slightly overpriced for Bent, it's the transfer window and the club is terrified. I'd rather make sure that Bent's wages are not astronomical than worry about the one time fee Villa pay to Sunderland.

There is one more thing to worry about: What is it Aston Villa are giving up in order to pay £18 for Bent? Or, more precisely, who Aston Villa will be giving up. In August, the club said that they were working on a "Sell to Buy" system. With relegation lurking in the back of everyone's mind, it's quite possible that the cash will simply flow, without concern that we need to sell someone for £18M. Or, of course, it could be that Lerner believes the money will come back through the sale of Ashley Young (I don't like it, either, but a good businessman could very well think that way). 

But, just so everyone knows, Sky Sports are reporting that Liverpool have placed a bid for Stewart Downing. A fairly reliable source  - although one not inside the club - mentioned that Villa turned down a £12M bid for Downing just a couple days ago, so either this one's higher or they really don't want Downing to leave. I hope it's the latter. While Bent might be great at goal-scoring, he's not a creater. He needs Villa's playmakers providing him service in order to keep ratcheting in the goals.

Overall, happy news, and one that should stop everyone from biting their nails when they hear the R-word.