Darren Bent could be about to mark the end of his Aston Villa career by joining Brighton & Hove Albion on an initial 28-day loan.
The former England international, who won the last of his 13 caps in 2011, has cut a largely frustrated figure since making a club record £24million move to Villa in January of the same year. Although he played a key role in ensuring the Midlands club remained in the Premier League that season, scoring nine goals, he has struggled since.
Bent spent last season on loan at relegated Fulham, for whom he could only muster three goals despite being used 24 times, and this term back at Ville he has made just seven outings from the bench. The last of these came on Monday night in the 1-1 home draw with Southampton, which could transpire to be his last appearance in the claret and blue.
It is being reported that the 30-year-old is set to drop down a division and join Championship club Brighton, in what will be an initial 28-day loan with an option to extend his stay. It now looks certain that the former Sunderland striker has no future at his parent club, as his contract will expire in the summer when he will become a free agent.
Of course, if he impresses whilst on loan for the Seagulls in the coming month Villa will hope this attracts the interest of other clubs, so they may be in a position to cash in on Bent when the January transfer window opens. But if they are unable to do so, they will at the end of the season be forced to take a huge hit on a player who once promised so much.
Has Bent been given a fair crack of the whip at Villa, or should he have been used more? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.