Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bent May Make His Debut in Friendly

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bent May Make His Debut in Friendly

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

DARREN Bent is in line for a surprise Sunderland debut at Peterborough tonight as the club finally wrap up a club record deal for the England striker.

Bent completed a successful medical at the Academy of Light after Spurs accepted an improved offer from the Black Cats - and is set to ink a deal believed to span four years this morning.

With time running out before the start of the season, Steve Bruce looks set to hand the forward a quick-fire bow in a Sunderland shirt in tonight's trip to London Road.

That appeared to be confirmed yesterday when Posh director of football Barry Fry claimed that Bruce had told him in a telephone conversation that Bent would be included in Sunderland's travelling party.

Although the Black Cats boss is unlikely to field many of the players who earned a second straight pre-season victory at Celtic over the weekend, midfielder Lorik Cana and Fraizer Campbell will also feature in the game.

But after the protracted and tortuous negotiations that it has taken to bring him to the Stadium of Light it will be Bent who is the centre of attention if he does make his bow.

Barring any unforeseen overnight hitches Sunderland are expected to formally announce Bent's capture this morning and bring an end to a process that has been tortuous for the Black Cats hierarchy. Sunderland thought they had brokered a deal three times before eventually managing to reach a compromise on Sunday night, when Tottenham agreed to a deal that could rise to pounds 14million. The club had been expected to make the signing official on Monday afternoon but Sunderland are renowned for their methodical and patient approach to recruiting players so it is no surprise that the Black Cats are in no rush to announce the deal. Both Sunderland and the player himself will be relieved that the deal is finally done and Bruce will move on to trying to make two more signings before the transfer window shuts. …

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