Transfer news: Fulham return with improved bid for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent - reports

Newcastle are focusing their attentions on alternative options

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The Independent Football

Fulham have moved closer to making their first signing of the Shahid Khan era - with the club reportedly making an improved bid for Darren Bent.

The Aston Villa striker has been the subject of a tug-of-war between the Cottagers and Newcastle - however it's understood the Magpies are now focusing their attentions on QPR striker Loic Remy and Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis - opening the path for Fulham.

They look to have taken the opportunity by making an improved bid on the £4m that was rejected last month. Should the deal go through, it will be the first signing since billionaire car-parts manufacturer Khan bought the club from Mohamed Al Fayed.

Bent is thought to favour a move to Newcastle, however considering he has been frozen out at Villa Park, a switch to Fulham would make more sense as he looks to work his way back into England manager Roy Hodgson's plans.

Villa are believed to be asking £6m for the striker, who they signed from Sunderland in a record deal of £18m rising to £24m with add-ons two years ago. It is unclear if Fulham have matched that valuation, with some claims the offer is closer to £5m.

Bent was dropped last season by manager Paul Lambert, who chose to start striker Christian Benteke in his place and was rewarded with 23 goals in all competitions.

A move to Craven Cottage would see Bent link up once more with Dimitar Berbatov whom he played with at Tottenham.