Betting Special: Could Fulham offer an escape route to frustrated Bent?

After a tough season, the 29-year-old striker looks set to leave Aston Villa and our tipster believes that a move to Martin Jol's Cottagers side may be on the cards
Darren Bent cut a forlorn figure on many occasions last season as the 29-year-old striker was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as Christian Benteke established himself as Paul Lambert's first-choice striker at Villa Park.

It is an indication of how far Bent has fallen in the Villa pecking order that, despite intense speculation about Benteke's immediate future, the England striker has been told that he is free to leave the West Midlands club this summer.

The forward, too, will be keen to move on as he seeks to resurrect his fledgling international career, having last represented England in 2011.

Fulham are chalked up as warm favourites at 2/1 (3.0) with BetVictor to offer Bent a fresh opportunity and a move to Martin Jol's side may well appeal to the 29-year-old.

The Cottagers finished the season on a disappointing note, having collected just four points from their final eight Premier League matches, and Jol, who signed Bent for Tottenham back in 2007, may look to bring the striker to Craven Cottage this summer.


Fulham 2/1
Newcastle United 6/1
Stoke City 12/1
Cardiff City 16/1
Leicester City 20/1
The former Sunderland man, though, may opt to return to the north east to sign for the Black Cats' arch-rivals, Newcastle - a prospect which is rated as a 6/1 (7.0) chance with BetVictor.

Alan Pardew's men endured a dreadful campaign, only securing their Premier League status for next term in their penultimate fixture, and the Magpies may view Bent as a potential replacement for Demba Ba, who swapped St James' Park for Chelsea in January.

A move to Stoke City for Bent is chalked up at 12/1 (13.0) with BetVictor but such a move may be in jeopardy given that the Potters are yet to appoint a successor to Tony Pulis and there is little value in backing the price on offer here.

Newly promoted Cardiff City may prove appealing to Bent and the Bluebirds can be backed at 16/1 (17.0) to snap up the former Sunderland striker, although Malky Mackay may opt to look elsewhere as he prepares his side for the rigours of Premier League football.

Leicester City suffered heartache in the Championship play-off semi-finals against Watford and manager Nigel Pearson may be interested in signing Bent as he looks to bolster his squad over the summer to aid the Foxes' push for promotion next term.

Leicester can be backed at 20/1 (21.0) with BetVictor to snap up Bent but it is doubtful as to whether the 29-year-old would be prepared to ply his trade in the second tier of English football.

It seems certain that Bent will depart Villa Park this summer and a scramble for his signature may well ensue. A move to Craven Cottage, though, seems likely to be the most attractive option open to the 29-year-old striker and the 2/1 (3.0) quote for Darren Bent to join Jol's men is worthy of support in this market.

Fulham to be Darren Bent's next club at 2/1 (3.0) with BetVictor

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter