Bent seals Villa move

England striker becomes club record signing

Bent: Record signing

Bent: Record signing

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of striker Darren Bent on a four-and-a-half-year deal from Sunderland.

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The Midlands outfit have revealed their shock swoop will be a club record signing, for a fee believed to be £18million.

Bent will be available to make his debut for Gerard Houllier's side in Saturday's Premier League clash with Manchester City.

The 26-year-old, who will now stay with Villa until summer of 2015, will be unveiled at a news conference later on Tuesday night.

Massive club

"Aston Villa is a massive club and as soon as I knew they were interested in signing me I wanted to join," Bent told the club's official website.

"The size of the football club and the history of the club are major reasons for me coming here.

"There are some top, top players here too, real quality, and I've been able to speak to the manager and the chairman about their ambitions for the club, so I'm very excited about being a part of what we hope to achieve."

The former Ipswich, Charlton and Tottenham player joined the Black Cats in the summer of 2009 and has been a prolific scorer in the top-flight in recent years.