Sunderland striker, and England international Darren Bent, has handed in a transfer request following an £18 bid for the striker by Aston Villa.
The striker has enjoyed a successful stint at the club after a bad spell at Tottenham, and his good form resulted in Fabio Capello calling him up to the England squad.
Since joining Sunderland from Spurs, Bent has scored 36 goals in 63 games for the club under manager Steve Bruce.
The club confirmed the transfer request on their website and issued the following statement.
“The club can confirm that it received a written transfer request from Darren Bent following yesterday’s Wear-Tyne derby match.”
Aston Villa have struggled to score goals this season, and currently find themselves in the relegation zone, with pressure continuing to grow on manager Gerard Houllier.
The club have managed a mere 24 goals in 22 games this season, with the majority of them coming from midfield.
The current crop of strikers at the club; John Carew, Emile Heskey, and Gabriel Agbonlahor have failed to deliver so far this season.
There had been speculation about Houllier’s position at the club, following his poor start to the season.
However, this move for Bent, along with the signing of Jean II Makoun from Lyon highlights the support Chairman Randy Lerner has in the French manager.
If Sunderland were to accept the offer from Aston Villa, the club will have taken their spending to £24 million so far in the January transfer window.