Bent going nowhere - McLeish
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish insists the club's record signing Darren Bent will not be for sale during the January transfer window.
McLeish has stressed he has to adopt a sell-to-buy policy if he wants to bring in any new players, and offloading a player of Bent's quality - he cost Villa £18million 12 months ago - would be a way of generating funds.
The Scot said: "A striker of Darren's ability would be difficult to replace. His goals last season were a vital part of Villa's season in terms of keeping them up. I wouldn't think anybody can afford Darren. I wouldn't think so."
He added: "It would send out the wrong message unless we went out and signed Luis Suarez or something. Even suspended for eight games, I'd have him."
The former Birmingham boss knows from experience just how crucial it is to have a proven goalscorer.
He said: "I wouldn't be tempted to lose any of the strikers. That was something that badly affected Birmingham City last year.
"We lost Nikola Zigic after the Carling Cup final and Obafemi Martins breaking his leg was a massive blow to that club. People say that strikers make the difference in this league."
McLeish added: "I've always said, since the start of the season, that we have got to trade carefully.
"It is very much a kind of juggling of the balls at the moment.
"That means I can't just go into the market without there being a kind of balance. I'm not willing to sell anybody at the moment, but you just don't know what will happen."