Bent blow to Town cash hopes

IPSWICH Town's hopes of being able to fund the Francis Jeffers purchase from Blackburn Rovers have been given a setback by news that Darren Bent has turned down a move from Charlton to West Ham.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's hopes of being able to fund the Francis Jeffers purchase from Blackburn Rovers have been given a setback by news that Darren Bent has turned down a move from Charlton to West Ham.

It was expected to go through today and net Town around £2.8million through a sell-on clause for a striker they sold to Charlton two years ago.

Both clubs had agreed a £16million fee plus midfielder Hayden Mullins - but after negotiations at Upton Park Bent last night rejected the move.


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But it should only be a temporary delay in Bent leaving The Valley - as the club relegated last season to the Championship is in need of stabilising its financial position.

Tottenham have also shown interest, while a move to Liverpool cannot be ruled out - and one that Bent would relish giving him the opportunity to play in the Champions League and considerable improve his England prospects.

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Town have offered £500,000 for Jeffers, but Blackburn Rovers are demanding twice that figure - and a cash bonus from any Bent sale would give Blues boss Jim Magilton scope to up his bid for a striker he has set his heart on bolstering his squad.

A Town insider has confirmed that the Bent sale by Charlton would make a 'massive difference' at Portman Road as the club looks to improve the squad and make an impression on the Championship next season.

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney said: “We set a valuation for Darren and West Ham were the only club prepared to meet that valuation.

“Darren has decided not to move, and we look forward to him starting with us in the Championship next season, which is a big boost to our chance of returning to the Premier League.”

Despite Varney's optimism, however, Bent's rejection of West Ham is most likely to signal a move elsewhere, with Martin Jol's Spurs having already registered their interest.

Varney's statement appears to suggest that the north Londoners are yet to meet Charlton's asking price for the player who will become the most expensive product of the much-admired Ipswich Academy.

If Bent does dig in his heels over a move away from The Valley, it is hard to see how Charlton could prevent a move for a man still harbouring international ambitions.

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