London: Striker Darren Bent has stunned Sunderland by demanding a transfer as Aston Villa made a 21.5-million-euros bid for the England international, the Press Association reported on Monday.
Black Cats boss Steve Bruce has turned down the transfer after signing Bent last season and being rewarded with 25 goals. The former Ipswich and Charlton frontman has a tally of 11 strikes so far in the current campaign.
Bruce invested a club-record fee in excess of 15.5 million euros for Ghana international striker Asamoah Gyan to play alongside Bent ahead of this season, but it appears he now faces a fight to keep the pair together.
Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has also been mulling a move for either Glasgow Rangers striker Kenny Miller or Ireland international Robbie Keane.