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Darren Bent will be allowed to leave Aston Villa

Aston Villa have agreed to let Darren Bent leave the club this summer, although it is doubtful they will be able to recover anything close to the £24m fee they paid Sunderland in January 2011.

Stu Forster

Aston Villa met with Darren Bent and, as expected, determined that the striker will be allowed to leave the club this summer. The suspension of Christian Benteke for the last match of the season allowed Bent his first start since the loss at Newcastle in January, and the forward responded by scoring the first goal of the match. Still, it's highly unlikely that Villa will be able to recover anywhere near the record £24m fee they paid to secure Bent from Sunderland.

When Bent arrived at Villa Park in January 2011, he got to be a hero, saving the club from relegation and helping secure a ninth-placed finish. But this season, a new hero, one with a few more letters added to his name, burst on to the scene. Christian Benteke's 19 league goals puts Bent's 9 scored in 2011-2012 to shame. The fact that he's seven years younger than Bent certainly doesn't hurt, either.

So it's no surprise that Bent will be out the door this summer. The question is, what will Villa get in exchange, and who will be willing to pay it?