Bent set for Fulham loan switch
Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is on the verge of joining Fulham on loan with current boss Paul Lambert insisting the forward will leave his club on good terms.
Lambert confirmed Bent was undergoing a medical at Fulham ahead of a season-long loan deal with a view to the Cottagers buying him permanently next summer.
Crystal Palace had seemingly been on the verge of signing the 29-year-old until Eagles manager Ian Holloway announced on Thursday morning that Bent had chosen Craven Cottage over Selhurst Park. Fulham boss Martin Jol was reticent to comment in detail during his briefing, but Lambert confirmed a deal is close.
"He's just away down to Fulham," said the Villa boss.
"I think it's well-documented now that he's down there having a medical and that's the last I've heard."
Bent will leave Villa Park after an unhappy end to his career in claret and blue. Lambert briefly made the striker his captain last season before suddenly dropping him and leaving him on the fringes for much of the campaign.
However, the Scot has re-emphasised his insistence that the decision was purely a footballing one, with the likes of Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann and Jordan Bowery more suited to the type of team he wanted to mould.
"There's never (been a spat)," he said. "Not one cross word. I don't know where people get that from. There's never been a cross word. That's football."
Jol, meanwhile, had earlier issued a cautious response to the suggestion that Fulham had signed Bent.
"I don't know what's happening. Darren's probably doing his own thing. We're not sure about it," the Fulham boss said.
"We don't speculate on players and can only give an answer when a deal is finalised. We'll see in the next day or two."
Bent swapped Sunderland for Villa for £24million in 2011, but fell out of favour with Lambert last season following the emergence of Benteke.
"We need quality up front and we're trying to get someone in that position in the next week. We need some pace up front," Jol said.
Jol, who refused to comment on his interest in Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, took a swipe at Holloway for stating that former England marksman Bent had agreed to join Fulham.
"People were telling me on Wednesday that he was having a medical at Crystal Palace. That is changing every day," Jol said.
"I thought that he was going to Ian Holloway. It's tough in the Premier League.
"I'm not sure if other managers should say things like that, because we are not 100 per cent sure about any player and I have a few players on the list.
"Maybe some geezer told him he was coming to us. Maybe he's right, maybe not. We'll see in the next day."
Fulham are hoping to strengthen their squad with the addition of a forward, midfielder and defender, but Jol has ruled out the prospect of new owner Shahid Khan loosening the purse strings.
"The new owner wants us to go places and that's our intention as well," he said.
"We don't expect new owners to come in and spend a lot of money because you have to be self-sufficient. That's what we're trying to do. We won't spend 10, 15, 20million pounds on players.
"The new owner's not interfering with anything. The only thing he said was try to create a nice sausage.
"He knows that we like sausages here. As long as it's a nice sausage he'll be happy."