DARREN Bent hasn’t given up hope of securing a move to Newcastle United.
The chances of Bent joining the club had seemingly receded over the past fortnight, with the club unwilling to go anywhere near Aston Villa’s £6m valuation.
Bent’s reported £75,000-a-week Villa Park pay packet is also a problem for a club which operates a strict wage policy.
But the 29-year-old – who is also wanted by Fulham and Crystal Palace – is still understood to be hopeful he can be reunited with Alan Pardew, who worked with him earlier in his career at Charlton Athletic.
United director of football Joe Kinnear is under increasing pressure to deliver two more signings in this summer’s transfer window.
London-based Kinnear – who was on Tyneside last week – pledged to bring in the players Pardew needs after his controversial return to St James’s Park in June.
However, the club’s only acquisition so far has been forward Loic Remy, who has joined on a £2m season-long loan from relegated Queens Park Rangers.
A move for Olympique Lyonnais striker Bafetimbi Gomis was shelved last week because of a dispute over the fees payable to agents involved in the deal.
And it’s unlikely that Pardew will have a new signing available for the club’s Premier League season-opener at Manchester City on Monday night, with Remy sidelined through injury.
Bent has no future at Villa, who paid Sunderland £18m for his services in January 2011.
The club is looking to recoup as much of that fee as possible, and a £4m bid from Fulham was rejected earlier this month.
Palace, meanwhile, have offered to take the England international on loan and pay £40,000 of his weekly wage.
While the Selhurst Park club is keen for a deal to be done before their game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Bent could opt to keep his options open.
The transfer window closes on September 2.