Date:Thursday May 24 2007
Arsene Wenger wants a close up look at Darren Bent by taking the striker on a season-long loan from Charlton.
While Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham, are believed to be in the race to sign the £15million-rated England front man, the Gunners are offering to take Bent for a year and then return him to the Valley if they are promoted.
Thierry Henry's future is not certain due to his injury problems, so Arsene Wenger is looking at bringing in Bent.
The move could suit life-long Arsenal fan Bent, and the Addicks, as it would mean us keeping hold of our captain if we bounce straight back up, or it could lead to a permanent move if Charlton fail to return to the Premiership straight away.
Even though Addicks boss Alan Pardew slapped a £15m value on Bent in January, Liverpool remain favourites to sign the England striker for about £12m and the deal could still involve goalkeeper Scott Carson. Now Liverpool have played their Champions League final a deal could be thrashed out next week.
The Reds were close to capturing Bent in January before he was injured with a knee problem that is still bothering him.
Spurs are also keen, but need to sell Jermain Defoe, probably to Portsmouth, while West Ham will be without Carlos Tevez and are thought to also be keen on Eidur Gudjonsen.
Bent is in no rush to decide his future and said: "The games I have played in the last couple of months have been a real battle. I'm going on holiday to rest the bones and make sure that everything is okay. I haven't really listened to what's going on. I'm just keeping my head down, working on strengthening my knee and getting fit for next season - wherever that may be."
The Addicks this week signed Luke Varney for £2m, and Colchester United's Chris Iwelumo on a free transfer, paving the way for Bent to go.
A loan deal does seem a strange option but Charlton could be looking to put Bent in the transfer window by having him scoring goals in The Premiership. We will have to see what happens.
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