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Bent to stay or go?

Bent to stay or go?

I bet Darren Bent is fuming. After pledging his future to the club and saying he's happy to remain in SE7, the gaffer says he'll consider selling our main man!

Fair enough the press have got hold of this and made it into more than what it was and this forced the club to release a statement on the official site saying its been blown out of proportion.

The messages that are reaching the fans are not promising and the board need to tread very careful as they are starting to lose the support of us fans. Three managers in a season is not good and now our best player could be sold.

The statement on the official website said, Reports that the Addicks are prepared to listen to offers for top scorer Darren Bent are wide of the mark.

Speculation followed the club's weekly media day on Friday at which Addicks manager Alan Pardew held a frank and honest discussion with journalists about possible transfer activity this month.

As part of the pondering the Charlton boss revealed that the unpredictability of Bent's return from injury, which could rule out the club's top scorer for six weeks, meant that he had plenty to think about as he plots the club's escape from relegation danger.

In the event of any sale he asserted that the club would demand a high fee for the England international - but he also insisted that his number one priority was to keep hold of the 22-year-old.

'Every window there's going to be interest in Darren Bent, and this one's no different,' admitted Alan.

'At the moment he's a Charlton player and that's what he will stay. But his injury is a problem to us.

'If he hadn't been injured that decision was absolutely categorical in my mind that he wasn't going. But I'm having to see everyday as we go with his injury. Is it improving dramatically? Is it going to be a long time?

'So it's something I'm thinking about. We cannot afford to have him out of the team for five weeks, so I'm having to assess it and weigh up all the situations and I'll have to do what's right for Charlton. But at the moment I haven't made any decision.'

In terms of recruitment, Pardew said he had been busy but had yet to see any firm outcomes.

'We haven't secured anybody just yet,' he said. 'We've made a number of calls, we've spoke to certain clubs and we've spoke to one or two players having been given permission by those clubs. So we're in that process at the moment but nothing's secured yet unfortunately.

'I'm prioritising a number of positions. In all honesty I'm looking for somebody who is going to take the team forward. Without doing harm to any of the players here I think another striker would be important to us and maybe a midfield player - they're probably the two positions that we're not covered in.'

He added: 'My priority when I came here, and when he was fit, was that Darren was not going to go anywhere that was categorical.

'The injury changes things in some ways. We are trying to locate a striker to replace him in the short term, so we will see.'

Finding a player to deputise for a striker who has scored more than half of the club's league goals this season and finished last term as the highest English scorer in the top flight will not be easy.

And, despite the injury, Pardew admitted he has been impressed with what he has seen so far from the England forward at first hand.

Indeed, no sooner had the new man arrived than Bent had broken an eight-game goal drought, and he netted against both Fulham and Aston Villa as the Addicks claimed a vital four points.

'This is a top-class player in my view, said Alan."After watching him for just a week and a bit, he's an England player and that's how he should set his goals.

'Certainly the figures being bandied around are way too low. I saw a figure in the paper which devalued the player quite considerably I thought. 'It sounds like his price has dropped if you're thinking £7m because £7m isn't going to touch the sides for Darren Bent.'

So we need a new striker now and if Bents out for 6 weeks then would we be better off selling him now and getting some players in that are fit and can help us stay up?

What do you think?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Saturday January 6 2007
Time: 2:11PM

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