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Sunderland star Darren Bent on verge of shock £24m switch to Aston Villa

Darren Bent is on the verge of completing a sensational £24million switch to Aston Villa from Sunderland.

The England international, 26, arrived in the Midlands for a medical ahead of what would be the deal of the January transfer window so far.

The Sunderland striker was told the two clubs had agreed a massive £24m transfer following the Wear-Tyne derby on Sunday evening and is now heading for Villa Park.

Villa owner Randy Lerner has agreed to smash the club's record transfer deal out of sight by throwing his weight firmly behind under-fire manager Gerard Houllier.

Fresh from the capture of £7m Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun, the former Liverpool boss has now raided the Black Cats for their prized asset in a dramatic signal of intent from the Midlands' club.

Houllier's record since arriving at Villa Park has been little short of dreadful, averaging less than a point-per-game.

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