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Sherwood hints at Bent future

Boss Tim Sherwood has hinted he is ready to hand Darren Bent a shock Aston Villa lifeline.

The Villa Park chief refused to rule out a return for the club's £24million record signing after his loan at Derby finished.

Bent is out of contract at the end of the season and had been frozen out by former manager Paul Lambert.

He cannot play for Villa this season as he was contracted to Derby if they made the play-offs, but the Rams ended up eighth in the Sky Bet Championship.

But Sherwood, who worked with Bent at Tottenham, believes he could still have something to offer next season.

"The door isn't shut for Darren," he said.

"I don't even know what he earns. It will all have to be taken into consideration, yes.

"He knows me, he knows that he would get chances to score goals which will be a bonus.

"I will have a chat with him but we just need to get over the line then we know where we are. If we're in the Premier League perhaps we can afford the wages."

Bent has scored 25 goals in 72 games for Villa since moving from Sunderland in 2011 but was rarely used by Lambert and was sent to Fulham on loan last season.

He also joined Brighton this season before his spell at Derby, where he scored 12 goals in 17 games.

But Sherwood believes owner Randy Lerner would trust his judgement if he offered Bent a new deal.

He said: "I think the way the conversation would go would be something like this: 'we might need to add striker and I know this boy, he's available, do we take a gamble on someone else or bring him back?'

"That's my decision and I'm sure Randy will say 'you're the manager you make the decision, that's what you get paid for'."

Villa host West Ham in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday just two points above the relegation zone with three games left.

They are up for sale and have been linked with a takeover fronted by former Arsenal defender Tony Adams and ex-Chelsea executive Paul Smith.

But Sherwood remains unconcerned over any uncertainty surrounding the club and, potentially, his own job.

He said: "Perhaps they might not like a British manager, not a lot of owners do. It's not a worry. I'm just getting on with my job. All I can do is do the best for the football club. I've got the football club's best interests at heart. At the moment the chairman has not made any indication that he has wanted to sell."

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