Darren Bent chooses to join Fulham – to the anger of Crystal Palace

 

Crystal Palace were left surprised and disappointed after Darren Bent – who looked to join them on loan from Aston Villa – chose to go to Fulham instead on a season-long loan.

The former England striker had been looking for a way out of Villa Park this summer after starting just eight Premier League games for Paul Lambert last season.

While there was early interest from Newcastle United, who were looking for striking replacements after the departure of Demba Ba to Chelsea in January, two serious suitors emerged this month, Palace and Fulham.

As late as Wednesday night, many at Selhurst Park were confident that they had secured Bent. He would have been a high-profile signing for them. With Glenn Murray injured, they lack experience up front, even after the summer arrivals of Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh. But this morning Palace's manager Ian Holloway revealed that, in fact, Bent was to sign at Craven Cottage instead.

"Fulham could wait a lot longer than we could so we've tried to force it, they've stepped in, took our deal," he said. "I was told Wednesday night he was coming to us. I was told this morning he was coming to us. It's life. Fulham are bigger sharks than us. My chairman's going to have to get used to that."

The news came as a surprise but Fulham have greater financial muscle than newly promoted Palace, as Holloway acknowledged. Martin Jol, who had admitted in the past his interest in signing Bent, was rather less keen to discuss it publicly, criticising Holloway for revealing the turn of events.

"I'm not sure other managers should say that because we're not 100 per cent sure about any player," said Jol. "Maybe he's right, maybe not. We will see in the next day or so. I have always said we need pace up front, that is what I am working on."

Ultimately the situation was clarified by Lambert, the man who decided that Bent would not be part of the Villa team that he wanted to build – who had not only left him out of the first team but did not even always put him on the bench, preferring at times to select Jordan Bowery, whom he signed from Chesterfield.

"It's well documented now that he's down there [at Fulham] having a medical," Lambert said. "And that is the last I have heard."

Will he, won't he? The chase for Bent

Wednesday, 7.30pm Crystal Palace sources confirm they are confident of signing Darren Bent (right) on loan and expect him for a medical in the morning.

Thursday, 9.15am Palace manager Ian Holloway reveals the move for Bent is off, as Fulham have now stepped in: "There are bigger sharks than us. My chairman's going to have to get used to that."

1.10pm Fulham manager Martin Jol refuses to confirm the former England striker will sign: "I don't know what's happening. We are not sure about it."

1.30pm Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert confirms Bent is at Fulham for a medical: "It's well-documented now that he's down there and that is the last I have heard."

Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on TV
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Emmanuel Adebayor, Tim Sherwood and Hugo Rodellega
sportThe latest news and scores
News
Brand said he
people
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit