Newcastle United are still attempting to close a deal for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent.

The Telegraph says the lack of progress made on the Bent deal is concerning given he was identified as a target months ago, although Newcastle have always maintained they would not match Villa's £8-million asking price, preferring to wait for it to drop closer to their £5 million valuation.

That approach is being tested by Fulham's two bids for the striker.

Toon chief Joe Kinnear, though, is due to meet Bent's agent this week, with Newcastle keen to learn what sort of wage cut he is willing to take. Bent earns around £80,000-a-week at Villa, at least £20,000 more than Newcastle are willing to pay.