Aston Villa are granting Darren Bent a transfer.

The Daily Mail says Bent has been told he is free to leave Aston Villa this summer as the Birmingham club prepares to take a huge hit on their investment in the England international.

The striker, 29, still has two years remaining on the contract he agreed during Gerard Houllier's spell in charge following his club record-breaking move from Sunderland.

Bent was signed for an initial £18m, rising to £24m on appearances and other bonuses, but Villa will be lucky to recoup half that figure.