Bent not for sale, insists chairman
AN exasperated David Sheepshanks last night remained adamant that Darren Bent is not for sale, writes Derek Davis.The Ipswich Town chairman reacted sternly at latest reports linking Everton, Aston Villa and even Norwich City to the free-scoring England Under-21 and Ipswich Town striker.
AN exasperated David Sheepshanks last night remained adamant that Darren Bent is not for sale, writes Derek Davis.
The Ipswich Town chairman reacted sternly at latest reports linking Everton, Aston Villa and even Norwich City to the free-scoring England Under-21 and Ipswich Town striker.
City boss Nigel Worthington has joined the list of Premiership managers who covet the Blues star, but he admits the striker is out of his league.
Worthington admitted his interest in Bent, but it is more likely that he will try to lure free transfer Shefki Kuqi in January.
You may also want to watch:
Worthington said: “I watched Ipswich last weekend against Preston and they are a good side. As always they play good football and they are scoring goals at the moment, which is important.
“If I had £3 or £4 million to spend I might try and get the boy Bent. He's the one I would really love to take. He is a quality young player with great pace. He's got a wonderful leap when he's going for the ball and he knows where the net is. He is also a willing worker.
- 1 Band and singer pull out of Latitude Festival due to positive Covid tests
- 2 Town co-owner Bakay on future of Portman Road name
- 3 Machinery to be sold following the loss of 'passionate' farmer
- 4 Sought-after Felixstowe beach hut sells for £88K
- 5 Empty shelves as 'pingdemic' takes its toll on Suffolk's supply chain
- 6 New-look Cobbold Stand finished - and what a difference it makes!
- 7 69 homes for Suffolk village delayed over 'bland' design
- 8 Ipswich closing in on Coulson loan signing
- 9 Crash between two motorbikes
- 10 'I am very, very excited' - Town teenager Gibbs completes Norwich move
“But I think he will have bigger fish to fry. A lot of clubs who are a lot wealthier than us at this moment in time are likely to be interested in Darren Bent.”
Charlton had a £3m bid for Bent rejected at the end of August but are expected to try again when the window re-opens in January.
The Canaries boss, whose team have yet to win a Premiership game, is less than happy with on-loan Arsenal striker David Bentley.
But Norwich, along with everyone else, will get short shrift from an Ipswich board determined to hang on to all their players.
Sheepshanks said: “Darren Bent is one of the best strikers outside the Premiership and it is only natural that clubs will admire his talents, but he is doing an excellent job for Ipswich.
“Darren has said he wants to play in the Premiership with Ipswich and is scoring the goals that will help take us there and hopefully will still be scoring for Ipswich when we are in the Premiership.
“We have absolutely no wish or need to sell him in the January transfer window.
“We have already rejected a sizeable bid for Darren from Charlton and even though the board has a responsibility to consider offers for our players we are under no pressure to sell.”
Bent is not the only player attracting interest from Premiership clubs, but all the time the Blues are getting the results and the crowds stay above the 21,500 budgeted for, then the club would not consider weakening a very tight unit.
Sheepshanks said: “We may have a very small squad but they are doing a marvellous job. I don't envisage that we will be losing any of our players in January, on the contrary we are looking to build on what we already have.”
It is also unlikely that any of the players will want to leave. The fact that there are so few players has actually engendered a real togetherness and enviable squad spirit among the tightly-knit group.
There is also a genuine belief that this can be the Blues' season and just as it would take silly money to convince the board to sell, so it would have to be a special manager to convince any of the Town stars to leave Portman Road right now.
The board of course would have to consider the inevitable offers in January for more than one of their players, and it would be irresponsible of them not to accept a bid that would genuinely provide enough funds for Joe Royle to buy better than he already has. But for Ipswich it has become a sellers' market and for someone like Bent, that would probably mean clubs having to break the current £6m records that were needed to buy Titus Bramble and Kieron Dyer.
But as far as Sheepshanks is concerned - he has slapped a 'No sale' tag on the whole first-team squad.