Premier League

Aston Villa reject claims of a problem between Darren Bent and Paul Lambert

Darren Bent: Rumours linking him with a move away from Aston Villa have been rejected

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Aston Villa have rejected suggestions that Darren Bent has had a bust-up with manager Paul Lambert.

Reports over the weekend claimed Bent could be sold in January following a dispute with Lambert after he was dropped from the starting line-up and stripped of the captaincy.

Bent started the season as captain before Lambert decided to give the skipper's armband to summer signing Ron Vlaar and the England international was then axed from the starting XI for the games against West Brom and Tottenham.

Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool are reported to be monitoring Bent's situation, but Villa insist there is no problem between the striker and Lambert.

"There is not a problem," a Villa spokesman told the Daily Express.

"The manager has explained why he has not selected Darren for the last two games and has said his door is open if the player wants to discuss the matter."