Marcus ignores transfer talk

MARCUS Bent is ignoring all the talk of a possible move back to the Premiership with Tottenham Hotspur and is concentrating on getting back to the top flight with Ipswich Town.

By Derek Davis

MARCUS Bent is ignoring all the talk of a possible move back to the Premiership with Tottenham Hotspur and is concentrating on getting back to the top flight with Ipswich Town.

While no bid, or even interest, has been expressed officially by Spurs to Ipswich, it is widely believed boss Glenn Hoddle is keen on the hit-man.

Hoddle was last night rebuffed by Bolton boss Sam Allardyce after making an attempt to get Michael Ricketts on loan making a move for Bent even more feasible.

Ipswich would not be interested in any loan attempts either and would demand as close to the £3m they paid for Bent as they could get.

Hoddle has not denied any interest in Bent but is keeping things close to his chest as he tries to bring in a new striker.

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He said: "There are a couple of things going on behind the scenes at the club but they will remain behind the scenes until something is completed."

While the speculation gathers momentum Bent has been focusing on Ipswich Town's first trip to Burnley in 26 years.

Bent said: "I'm flattered to be linked with these clubs and would obviously love to be back playing in the Premiership.

"I came here to play in the Premiership and although we tried our hardest for one reason or another we didn't stay in there.

"It is still my ambition to play in the Premiership I would like that to be with Ipswich. But if someone came in and the club, because of the money situation here, had to sell me then that is something else."

With Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield United, Port Vale, Crystal Palace and Brentford, listed as his former clubs, the former England under 21 is used to being linked with moves.

He said: "All I'm thinking about is getting fully fit after the operation and finding top form.

"If I start thinking about other things then that might affect me. I get speculation about me going to clubs all the time and have done at every club I have been to. If it was a younger player it might affect them and if nothing happened they would get down-hearted but I have been here before many times and I won't get excited by it."

His spell at Rovers will ensure he gets a hard time by Burnley fans at Turf Moor, something that he will use as an extra incentive.

He said: "It gees me up, it gives me a buzz, the more noise the better atmosphere even if it is hostile it will get me going.

"When Burnley came here they were doing well and got a draw but started losing a bit form. It will be hard there, they will make it difficult for us."

Town are unbeaten in six league games and that sort of form has boosted everyone and seen them rise steadily up the table, one place ahead of Burnley in 13th spot.

Bent said: "Up until a couple of weeks ago I had not even looked at a table because I knew we were in a bit of trouble and it wasn't worth looking at.

"But when I did I was surprised to see how close we are and are only six points off a play off place.

"If we can carry on what we are doing then the boys know we can get in there. We are getting more confident the squad is getting the stronger. The manager has changed things around and it has worked."

Bent has recovered well from a groin operation which forced him to miss 13 games but has had to work hard to get over a side-effect as his abdominal muscles compensated for the injured area but he is fit and hoping to start at Turf Moor.

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