Newcastle United are hoping they can secure the signing of Darren Bent as soon as possible.

The Toon are desperately keen on the Aston Villa striker and want to bring him back to the North East following his successful spell with Tyne-Wear rivals Sunderland between 2009 and 2011.

Bent has been told he can leave Villa Park after Paul Lambert signed Nicklas Helenius this summer and Magpies boss Alan Pardew is looking to swoop.

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