Charlton complete £2.5m Bent deal

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The Independent Football

Charlton Athletic yesterday completed the signing of Marcus Bent from Everton for an initial fee of £2m, which could rise to £2.5m. The 27-year-old striker travelled to south-east London yesterday to agree personal terms and undergo a medical, and has now signed a three-and-a-half-year contract.

However, the Charlton manager, Alan Curbishley, fears Jason Euell's transfer to Birmingham is "in danger" following a "change of policy" by the Midlands club.

Blues have agreed a £1.5m fee for Euell - a substantial amount of which was raised by the sale of Walter Pandiani to Espanyol - although personal terms have still to be discussed. But the manager, Steve Bruce, has little money to spend during the January transfer window with the free transfer signing of Chris Sutton his only acquisition to date.

Following a knee injury suffered by his striker Emile Heskey, against the Addicks last weekend, Bruce may have to look for a proven goalscorer instead of moving for the attacking midfielder, who has fallen out of favour at The Valley.

Curbishley said yesterday: "As far as I was aware, Birmingham had agreed a fee, and I thought it was going through. However, I think Birmingham now as a club have changed their policy a bit in terms of the transfer market, which has affected the move.

"It is nothing to do with Jason, nothing to do with the fee or the terms. I just think at the club itself they have had a change of policy. I think the transfer now is in danger, but that is not from our end or from Jason's end."

The Charlton manager added: "They played here on Saturday for the first time with a fully fit squad, and had some big players like [David] Dunn and [Mikael] Forsell on the bench.

"So they may have come to a situation where they say 'this squad should be strong enough and we get on with that'. We will have to see, but certainly the indication we have had is that they have changed their policy at the moment."

Birmingham had expressed an interest in Euell earlier in the season, only for the Jamaica international, 28, to suffer a shoulder injury.

Bruce, though, remains keen on the player. He said: "We haven't got a lot of money in the coffers. Jason Euell is one we are interested in, but we must bring in the right person. We will see what develops, so we need to keep our options open. Emile took a knock to the knee during the Charlton game and will undergo an X-ray. We will have to keep our fingers crossed it is nothing serious."

Meanwhile, Bent will provide a solid strike partner for Darren Bent, who played alongside his namesake at Portman Road.

Marcus Bent has seen his first-team opportunities limited at Goodison Park this season, having managed just one goal after finishing as second top scorer in the previous campaign as Everton qualified for the Champions' League.

"Charlton are a team I've always looked at with high regard," he said. "I can't wait to get started and am really looking forward to it."

"I can bring goals and am pacy, strong and good in air," he added. "I'd like to bring something to the team that's going to push us on to the next level and achieve something like I did last year."