Albrighton hoping for Bent stay

Winger wants Bent to remain with club this winter

Darren Bent: Has been linked with a move away from Villa this month

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Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton insists it is crucial the club keep hold of striker Darren Bent during this month's transfer window.

Villa are preparing to welcome frontman Robbie Keane on a short-term loan from LA Galaxy, with the two clubs close to agreeing a deal.

Manager Alex McLeish will hope Keane can provide some firepower up front, with Bent having scored just six goals in 18 appearances for the Midlanders this season.

The England international has been linked with a move away from Villa Park this month, with Liverpool thought to be interested in signing him.

McLeish has denied such rumours, insisting he has spoken with Reds counterpart Kenny Dalglish and they are not chasing the 27-year-old.

But the imminent arrival of Keane means Bent's spot in the first team could be under threat.

Stay

Albrighton, who scored during Aston Villa's 3-2 FA Cup triumph at Bristol Rovers on Saturday evening, says he and his team-mates are all keen for the striker to stay.

He told the Daily Mirror: "You don't want to see your best players leave. Darren is one of our best players.

"It would be sad if he left. We have got the players that can fill his boots if he did.

"Hopefully the gaffer will bring some players in but all of us want Darren to stay - 100 per cent."