Striker Bent says there were no talks over a Bur­ton re­turn dur­ing this sea­son

Burton Mail - - Sport -

DAR­REN Bent says there has been no con­ver­sa­tion be­tween him Bur­ton Al­bion about a pos­si­ble deal to re­turn to the Pirelli Sta­dium.

The former Derby County striker spent the sec­ond half of last sea­son on loan with Bur­ton scor­ing twice in their doomed Cham­pi­onship sur­vival bid.

Bent has been with­out a club since his re­lease from the Rams in the sum­mer.

Al­bion boss Nigel Clough said in Au­gust that the club: “might have a chat with Dar­ren” and added that any deal would likely have to be a pay-as-you-play deal. Clough did not say a deal had been of­fered.

And Bent has de­nied a con­ver­sa­tion took place be­tween him and Clough.

“I read re­ports that Nigel Clough had of­fered me a pay-as-you-play con­tract but I never ac­tu­ally sat down with him to talk about that,” Bent told the East Anglian Daily Times.

“We never had that con­ver­sa­tion. “I had a few of­fers over the sum­mer. A cou­ple got quite close to hap­pen­ing and didn’t quite pan out for var­i­ous rea­sons, while a cou­ple of the clubs I just didn’t fancy.

“I trained with Bur­ton over the sum­mer, played some pre-sea­son games, had a cou­ple of char­ity matches and have been do­ing my own gym work. I don’t think gen­eral fit­ness would be an is­sue, it would just take a lit­tle bit of time to get that match sharp­ness back.”

One move Bent would cer­tainly be open to is a re­turn to former club Ip­swich. He notched 50 goals in 130 ap­pear­ances at Port­man Road af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the club’s academy.

His ground­ing In East Anglia started a ca­reer that

took in big-money moves to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, As­ton Villa and Sun­der­land.

Bent was the sub­ject of a rap­tur­ous ovation from the Blues faith­ful in Fe­bru­ary’s 0-0 draw with Bur­ton.

“There’s been no contact but ob­vi­ously it’s some­thing I would be open to,” he said about a pos­si­ble move to Ip­swich.

“It’s a club close to my heart. That’s where it all started for me, I had a lot of good days there and a great re­la­tion­ship with the fans. Never mind it be­ing one of the re­sults I look for ev­ery week, it’s the first re­sult I look for.

“Go­ing back there one day has al­ways been some­thing in the back of my mind through­out my ca­reer. I think it would be fit­ting if that was the last stop on my jour­ney.

“I’m en­joy­ing the me­dia work, but would love to keep play­ing as long as pos­si­ble.

“That said, I’ve got lev­els and stan­dards that I don’t want to drop be­low.

“We’ll see what hap­pens. As I say, I’d def­i­nitely love to have a con­ver­sa­tion with Ip­swich.”

Dar­ren Bent

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