Premiership clubs keen on Bent

TWO PREMIERSHIP clubs are believed to be on the trail of Ipswich Town striker Marcus Bent.Town chairman David Sheepshanks last night confirmed Premiership newcomers Leicester City have expressed an interest in the former Blackburn striker and that another, as yet unnamed, club are also considering making an offer.

TWO PREMIERSHIP clubs are believed to be on the trail of Ipswich Town striker Marcus Bent, writes Steve Mellen.

Town chairman David Sheepshanks last night confirmed Premiership newcomers Leicester City have expressed an interest in the former Blackburn striker and that another, as yet unnamed, club are also considering making an offer.

"We are aware of interest from Leicester City and others but as yet there has been no formal bid," said Sheepshanks last night.

Bent, along with goalkeeper Andy Marshall, is one of the high earners Ipswich would be keen to get off the wage bill as they attempt to trim it down to £5m a year.

He scored 12 goals for the Blues last season despite battling with injuries and a loss of form pre-Christmas, and by the end of the campaign was part of the first-choice front pairing, along with Pablo Counago.

Although the Ipswich chairman would not confirm the other club involved was a Premiership side, there are few Division One clubs who could match his current wages, or even get near them.

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Matt Holland was still mulling over a move to Charlton at the weekend after the south-east London club matched Portsmouth's £750,000 bid, and the midfielder failed to agree personal terms at Fratton Park.

Holland is expected to make a decision today or tomorrow.

Jim Magilton and Fabian Wilnis have verbally agreed to the new contracts offered to them by manager Joe Royle and should put pen to paper before the end of the month. Richard Naylor, the third player to be offered a new deal, is also likely to sign in the next fortnight.

This follows the double signing by Matt Richards and Darren Bent, who both committed themselves to three-year deals on Friday.

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