Aston Villa

McLeish Says No To Liverpool But £30m Will Change His Mind

Liverpool could be plotting a shock bid for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent to try and boost their attacking options.

In this season so far the Reds’ main source of goals has come from Luis Suarez, who could be banned for up to eight games, depending on the result of Liverpool’s appeal against this punishment for the alleged racial abuse of Patrice Evra.

The Uruguayan also picked up another match ban this week for a hand gesture at Craven Cottage, taking his suspension to a possible nine matches.

Therefore manager Kenny Dalglish is looking to bring in a proven Premier League goalscorer, especially as £35m Andy Carroll can’t seem to buy a goal at the moment.

The Reds have only managed 18 goals in as many Premier League games, whereas Bent has netted five in 14 games this season, with 14 goals this calendar year.

Barren Bent is a natural goal poacher who can score all round the box and is good in the air, the main problem for Liverpool is that to prise him away from Villa Park they will have to offer an astronomical amount.

Bent signed earlier this year from Sunderland in the last January window for £24m and given the spiralling cost of any English player under the age of 30, Liverpool will have to start the biddung at around the £25m mark at least.

Liverpool have supposedly had the England international on their radar for a while and director of football at Anfield, Damien Comolli, admitted he considered making a move for Bent before Villa did.

He suggested that Bent would not have been compatible with Fernando Torres, who left in that same window, a hesitation that could cost Liverpool as much as £10m if they have to go as high as £35m to land the striker.

Aside from the money involved the 27-year-old is currently injured and has missed the last three games for Villa, the official website however, is hopeful he will return for the next match away to Chelsea.

John Barnes was less than enthusiastic about such a bid and seems to be confusing Liverpool’s style of play with Barcelona’s. He said in an interview with talkSPORT: “I don’t know if he [Bent] is the type of player that they [Liverpool] want, he likes to be direct, play over the top, run on quickly.

“Liverpool don’t play that way and as good as Darren Bent is a good goal-scorer in the right
team, I don’t know whether he’d fit at Liverpool. It all depends on the way you actually play and you have to play to someone’s strengths.”

Despite being told he has zero money available for transfers in the January window Villa boss Alex McLeish has stated he will not sell his most expensive player.

He told Sportsmail: “It would be very difficult for me to replace a striker of Darren’s quality, his goals last season were a vital part of keeping this club in the division.

“I’m not tempted to lose any of the strikers. It was something that affected Birmingham City
badly last year when we lost Nikola Zigic after the Carling Cup final and Obafemi Martins broke his leg.

“People say strikers make a difference in this league and, to be honest, where we are now,
I don’t think anyone could afford him. Anyway, it would send out the wrong message – unless we went out and signed Luis Suarez.

“I’ve said since the start of the season that I just can’t go into the market place. We have to
trade carefully. I’m not willing to sell anybody but you can never say never because you just don’t know what might happen.”

So if Liverpool came in with an offer of over £30m he may have to rethink his stance
as that kind of money could bring in three better foreign players.

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