Villa boss Paul Lambert today insisted he never fell out with Darren Bent ahead of the striker’s move to Fulham.
The England hitman is expected to complete his season-long loan move to the Cottagers today after rejecting a switch to Crystal Palace.
Bent, Villa’s £24m record signing, has been frozen out this summer after losing his place to Christian Benteke last season.
But, ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League opener at Arsenal, Lambert dismissed any claims he had a problem with Bent.
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert speaks to the press ahead of the Arsenal trip
He said: “There has been not one cross word between us. I don’t know where people have got that from.
“I brought in Benteke. If anyone can tell me it was the wrong decision (to pick him ahead of Bent) then they’d take you away in a white van somewhere. It’s just the way I play and the way
I look for people to play under me. That’s football.”
Fulham will pay a loan fee, believed to be around £2m, will also fund Bent’s £60,000-a-week wages and he could make his debut at former club Sunderland tomorrow should the move go through in time.
There is no agreement to make the deal permanent but the Cottagers offered more than Palace to take Bent on loan.
Eagles boss Ian Holloway was confident of landing the 29-year-old but revealed yesterday he was heading to Fulham for a medical.
It angered Fulham counterpart Martin Jol, who paid £16.5m to bring Bent to Tottenham from Charlton in 2007, with the Dutchman questioning Holloway’s actions.
“I’m not sure if other managers should say things like that,” he said.
Bent made 23 appearances, scoring six goals for Villa last season and has netted 25 times in 64 games since his switch from Sunderland in 2011.