Frustration for Jim

JIM Magilton last night talked of his frustration at the 11th hour breakdown of Darren Bent's proposed transfer from Charlton to West Ham.It would have meant a £2.88m payment to Ipswich Town as part of the sell-on clause when the England striker was sold to Charlton two years ago.

By Elvin King

JIM Magilton last night talked of his frustration at the 11th hour breakdown of Darren Bent's proposed transfer from Charlton to West Ham.

It would have meant a £2.88m payment to Ipswich Town as part of the sell-on clause when the England striker was sold to Charlton two years ago.

“We would now be able to pinpoint the targets we want to strengthen our squad with,” said Blues manager Magilton.

“It looked as though the deal was complete, but Darren apparently changed his mind and we must now hope that a new deal comes off to give us cash that would make a massive difference to Ipswich Town.”

Magilton's dreams of receiving a pot of gold from relegated Charlton have not been helped by confirmation that the Londoners have dug their heels in over their valuation of the 23-year-old striker.

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Charlton have warned Tottenham and Liverpool they will not be able to sign Bent on the cheap.

West Ham are willing to pay £17million, but Bent looks to prefer a move to White Hart Lane or Anfield.

Spurs' reported offer is way below Charlton's valuation with the latter's chief executive Peter Varney insisting they will not be forced into accepting a lower bid for their prized asset.

“We have a valuation of Darren and we will not sell for less than that,” said Varney.

“There have been other bids and they don't meet our valuation. West Ham matched our valuation and that was why they were given permission to speak to Darren.

“No other club has managed that and as things stand Darren will be staying with Charlton. He is our player and under contract to us and will play in the Coca-Cola Championship if necessary.”

Ipswich are currently around £500,000 adrift of the £1million fee Blackburn Rovers want for front man Francis Jeffers.

Cash from a Bent transfer last week could well have seen the 26-year-old a permanent player at Portman Road by now.

“I am sure Blackburn are looking at our situation and sitting tight for the time being,” said Magilton.

“We intend to get the quality we need - and this has to be paid for.”

Talking about the possible signing of goalkeeper Richard Wright from Everton, Magilton added: “We have not seriously sat down with him, and it is early doors for some clubs with regards to next season.”

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