The People says Villa face the prospect of making a £13million loss on Bent AND paying him for two more years.
Striker Bent, who joined Villa for an initial £18million, has been told he can leave the club this summer.
But Villa's attempts to play hardball over Bent are set to fail, despite claiming they will not accept less than £8million for the 29-year-old.
Newcastle, Fulham and Hull are interested, but won't pay more than £5million .
Villa will also struggle to find a club willing to match Bent's current £65,000-a-week contract that still has two more years to run.
That means they will be forced to pick up the shortfall for the remaining two years of their commitment to Bent if he moves elsewhere and earns less.