Premiership appeals to Bent

DARREN Bent has admitted the lure of the Premiership could be too strong for him to turn down, writes Derek Davis.The Blues striker, who is aiming to keep his goal record of one in every two league games by netting against Wolves today, is wanted by Alan Curbishley's Charlton Athletic.

DARREN Bent has admitted the lure of the Premiership could be too strong for him to turn down, writes Derek Davis.

The Blues striker, who is aiming to keep his goal record of one in every two league games by netting against Wolves today, is wanted by Alan Curbishley's Charlton Athletic.

The Addicks are expected to come in with an improved offer today after an initial £3m bid was rejected last Thursday.

Curbishley admitted he was keen to bring in a new player before tomorrow's 5.30pm deadline and would not rule out another move for Bent when asked after their 4-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.


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He said: "We're going to be trying to bring players in right until the deadline."

England Under-21 international Bent, who has hit three goals in six international appearances, all coming in the last three minutes of games, turned down the chance to move to Newcastle United last season when his close friend, Darren Ambrose, went, but is now anxious to step up a level.

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Bent said: "Obviously it is a massive opportunity. Every player wants to play in the Premiership. Whether it is the right time for me or not only time will tell.

"Whatever will be will be, but at the moment all I'm doing is focusing on the Wolves game."

Although he did not score, Bent played reasonably well at Rotherham, setting up Shefki Kuqi's second goal in Town's 2-0 win. He refused to let all the transfer talk affect him.

He said: "It was not difficult to focus at all. I'm an Ipswich Town player and that is all I'm concentrating on playing against Wolves on Monday."

Ipswich Town refuse to comment on what they would do if a further bid comes in as they see it as totally hypothetical at this stage.

It also transpires that no price was agreed with Charlton before the official bid was made last week.

Chairman David Sheepshanks confirmed this and told the club website: "Last week Charlton made an official approach for Darren Bent. Contrary to reports in the local press no agreement was at any time reached between the clubs.

"An offer was made, given careful consideration by the board, and declined.

"There have been no further discussions since."

Charlton are expected to make another offer for Bent within the next 24 hours. They have until 5.30pm tomorrow to have the deal registered.

It is understood there would be no major snags with personal terms and although a medical would have to be completed and Bent will report for England Under -21 duty tonight.

Curbish-ley is in desperate need for a new signing and after missing out on Rob Earnshaw, who is set to join WBA in a £3.5m move, the Addicks were linked with Barcelona striker Javier Saviola.

But the Spaniard is only available on loan and it appears it is now a straight fight between Atletico Madrid and Celtic as he wants European competition.

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