Belfast Telegraph

Derby seal Bent loan swoop

Derby have completed the loan signing of Aston Villa striker Darren Bent.

The 30-year-old has put pen to paper on a deal which will see him remain with the Rams for the rest of the season.

Bent, capped 13 times by England, will link up with his new team-mates for the first time on Monday and it is hoped he will be in line to make his Rams debut in the top-of-the-table clash against Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Ipswich - his former club - at Portman Road on January 10.

Derby head coach Steve McClaren told the club's official website, www.dcfc.co.uk: ''We are delighted to welcome Darren Bent to Derby County for the rest of the season.

"I've worked with him in the past and he brings significant Premier League and international experience with him.

"He adds to our already excellent attacking options. Darren has scored goals wherever he has been during his career and we believe he can contribute on the field for us.

"We're braced for an exciting second half of the season, which is always an important stage in any campaign, and we're got plenty of big matches coming up for everyone to look forward to - and Darren certainly brings big game experience with him."

Out of favour at Villa Park four years after arriving from Sunderland in a club record £24million deal, Bent has only recently returned to the Barclays Premier League side from a loan spell with Championship outfit Brighton.

He scored two goals in five matches for the Seagulls and stated he was open to remaining at the AMEX Stadium. However, it is thought the prospect of joining a club who are serious contenders for promotion to the top flight was more appealing.

Bent has made eight appearances for Villa this season - seven of them as a substitute.

He has scored 25 goals in 72 games since moving to Villa Park in January 2011, but he has regularly been overlooked by current manager Paul Lambert and spent last season on loan at Fulham.

It is understood Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace, having lined up Alan Pardew as their new manager, also expressed an interest in signing Bent in recent days.

Bent has scored 106 Premier League goals during spells with Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham, Sunderland, Villa and Fulham.

Bent Tweeted: "Excited to join @dcfcofficial & will give everything to help the team for the rest of the season.

"I would also like to thank Brighton who were great to me during my time there."

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