However, Geordies will need to now act fast after Cottagers lodged £6m bid of their own for in-demand attacker.
Newcastle United are to step up their attempts to sign unsettled Aston Villa front man Darren Bent this summer in response to Fulham lodging a bid of £6 million for the England international, says the Daily Mail.
Villa head coach Paul Lambert has already made it clear to the 29-year-old that he is surplus to requirements at Villa Park in the upcoming campaign and can now start looking for a new club after being made to train with the reserves during preseason.
The Scot is understood to be desperate to offload Bent as soon as possible so as to remove his bumper salary from the club’s wage bill, and now it appears as though it is a straight two-horse race to win the striker’s signature between Premier League rivals Fulham and Newcastle.
Fulham boss Martin Jol has responded to seeing his initial bid of £4 million for Bent rejected by Villa by returning with an improved offer of £6m over the weekend, and that has led to the Magpies’ recently appointed director of football Joe Kinnear setting up a meeting himself with Bent’s representatives this week to discuss a possible move to St James’ Park.
Either way, Bent’s two-year stay in the Midlands now appears over after 25 goals in 64 matches for Villa.