Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says there has been no interest shown in Darren Bent

Darren Bent: Linked with a move away from Aston Villa after slipping down the pecking order

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Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has rejected suggestions that Darren Bent is up for sale and insists there has been no interest shown in the England striker.

Bent's future at Villa Park has been the subject of speculation for some time with the forward losing his place in the starting XI.

The former Sunderland man has found himself on the fringes of the first team under Lambert fuelling reports of a possible move away from the club for Bent when the transfer window reopens in January.

Lambert - No bids for Bent

"Darren was on the bench last week. We've not had a cross word at all," insisted Lambert.

"Has there been any interest in Bent? None.

"Are you adamant you want to sell? Listen. My job is to pick a group of lads I think will win the game and that's my main focus, not any other deviation of anything else."