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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Ipswich Bent on signing Marcus

PUBLISHED: 14:23 22 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

IPSWICH are close to signing £3 million Blackburn striker Marcus Bent.

Town boss George Burley today admitted: "I can't deny we have enquired about the player, but there is nothing concrete at the moment.

IPSWICH are close to signing £3 million Blackburn striker Marcus Bent.

Town boss George Burley today admitted: "I can't deny we have enquired about the player, but there is nothing concrete at the moment.

"We have asked a number of clubs about a number of players – probably three or four – and we have not agreed anything yet."

But sources in Lancashire claim Rovers have already accepted a verbal £3m offer and that Bent is on his way to Portman Road.

Burley hinted that he has at least two transfer options to consider and admitted he would like to have a new face in the side when Town recommence their relegation battle at Middlesbrough on Sunday.

He added: "If we can get something sorted by then, fine, but I must stress there is nothing finalised at the moment."

Burley has been rocked by the injury to leading scorer Marcus Stewart, who broke his jaw in a training accident at the weekend and will be absent for about two months.

Finidi George is still sidelined with a fractured cheekbone and new boy Ulrich Le Pen's debut as a substitute against Bolton lasted just 12 minutes as he received a nasty foot gash that required nine stitches and ruled him out for a month.

The Town boss said: "Injuries have left us weak and it would be good if we could get something sorted out by Sunday, but we will just have to wait and see."

Burley seemed surprised at the news from Lancashire that Bent was on his way to watch Ipswich in action against Inter Milan tonight.

But there is little doubt that the 23-year-old striker has emerged as their number one transfer target after several days of enquiries.

Town tried to push through a loan deal for Inter Milan striker Hakan Sukur, but despite being surplus to requirements at the San Siro Stadium the 30-year-old Turkish international has said a firm 'no' to the proposal.

Now it is understood that Blackburn have given Bent permission to speak to Ipswich after his failure to oust either Matt Jansen or Italian import Ciccio Grabbi from the first team.

Rovers boss Graeme Souness has made it clear that Bent, who cost £2.1m from Sheffield United on November 23 last year and netted eight league goals en route to promotion, is not part of his future plans.

Hammersmith-born Bent, who was previously with Port Vale and Crystal Palace after starting his career at Brentford, has not scored in his nine Premiership appearances this season.

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