Should Ipswich Town try and bring striker Darren Bent back home from Derby County?

Darren Bent faces an uncertain future at Derby County. Picture: FOCUS IMAGES

Darren Bent faces an uncertain future at Derby County. Picture: FOCUS IMAGES - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Striker Darren Bent would be open to an Ipswich Town return, according to his former Blues team-mate Tommy Miller.

A product of the famed Playford Road academy, Bent made his Blues debut aged 17, became a firm fans’ favourite during the entertaining Joe Royle years before making big-money moves to Charlton, Tottenham, Sunderland and Aston Villa

The 13-cap England international is now aged 33 and reportedly not in the plans of new Derby County boss Gary Rowett. Back in January 2015, ahead of a return to Portman Road with the Rams, he said that Ipswich ‘has a special place in my heart’.

“If there’s a deal to be done it could be great for both parties,” said Miller, who provided plenty of goals from midfield in that Town team of the early 2000s.

“Darren’s obviously got massive pedigree and, even at 33, will still have a lot of goals in him at Championship level. Strikers like him never lose that knack of scoring goals. He’s always been a player that is in the right place at the right time and, nine times out of 10, he will put the ball in the net.

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“I know Ipswich is a club very close to his heart and I’m sure he’d be open to a return to Portman Road at this stage in his career.”

• ‘It was crazy that we didn’t win promotion at Ipswich’, says Bent

Bent – who has more than 200 career goals and almost £50m of transfer fees to his name – scored 10 times in 22 league starts and 15 substitute appearances last season. He faces competition from Chris Martin, David Nugent, Matej Vydra and Andreas Weimann at the iPro Stadium though.

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With a year left on his Rams deal, Bent said recently: “When a new manager comes in, he’s going to have the players in his head that he wants to bring in.

“That’s why he’s here. I can see there will be quite a few changes. If he came to me and said: ‘You don’t feature in my plans’, well, I want to play football, so I’d have to look at something else.

“I’ve had conversations with him and he has not said that, so I will go away in the summer, get myself fit and be ready to go again next season.”

Town are closing in on the £1m signing of Joe Garner from Rangers, with pundit Mark Lawrenson insisting he’s a player that works best with a prolific ‘on-the-shoulder’ strike partner.

Whether Town sign another front man could well depend on whether Brett Pitman moves on.

• January 2015: Westlake says Bent would have been a good signing for Town

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