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Fulham are increasing confident of concluding a £5m deal to sign the Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, according to the Guardian.

The England international, who has long been earmarked as Martin Jol’s top summer transfer target, is keen on a reunion with the manager under whom he worked so successfully at Tottenham. Fulham are encouraged by the news that Newcastle, who were seen as their major rivals for Bent’s signature, have switched their focus to QPR’s Loic Remy.

Jol believes Bent could forge a potent partnership with Dimitar Berbatov at Craven Cottage due to the former Sunderland striker’s ability to stretch defences with his pace and power. The 29 year-old is desperate to leave Villa Park having been frozen out by Paul Lambert, who has rejected two Fulham bids to date. The Whites are ready to increase their offer to £5m and hope to be able to discuss personal terms with Bent over the weekend.