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Bent knocks back last-ditch Magpies move in favour of London
After months of tentative talking with Aston Villa and the front-man's representatives, the Magpies made one firm and unsuccessful last attempt to lure him back to the North-East.
But Bent, who passed a medical at Craven Cottage yesterday, was having nothing of Newcastle's 11th hour bid for his services having become disgruntled by the the length of time it took them to firm things up.
The 29-year-old had identified Newcastle as his preferred destination earlier in the summer after learning Alan Pardew was keen to take him to St James' Park.
However, Newcastle's director of football Joe Kinnear pursued both Loic Remy, who has arrived on a season-long loan, and Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis as well.
And the delay in striking a deal frustrated Bent so when Newcastle made contact again for the final time yesterday morning he had already decided Fulham was the right move for him.
Bent, who also rejected a Crystal Palace switch, is on the verge of a season-long loan at the west London club, with Fulham understood to be paying around half of his reputed £80,000-a-week contract.
Such an agreement would have also suited Newcastle, but they left it too late and Pardew is left wondering if a second new striker will arrive before the end of the transfer window.
Chief scout Graham Carr and Kinnear are considering Newcastle's next move, but there is a determination not to rush in to a deal just for the sake of it.
Newcastle are being offered a number of players every day, including Besiktas midfielder Manuel Fernandes, but nothing has persuaded Kinnear to act so far.
Pardew did allow young forward Adam Campbell to join Carlisle United for a month yesterday.
Campbell - who had also interested Birmingham, St Mirren and Hartlepool – is now hoping to gain the experience required to show Pardew he is ready for more first team football.
He said: “Everybody has helped me. The staff have been great. Last season I heard it might happen then two weeks ago it started to move, but Newcastle are looking to get strikers in and it didn’t happen. Now it has I’m happy to be here.”
Regardless of who else comes in to the Newcastle squad, Dutch midfielder Vurnon Anita is confident Newcastle can aim for European football again.
He said: “This year is different. We have no Europa League and so everybody will be well rested and let’s go for the top five. Why should we not look at making it into the top five again?
“We have good players and we should not worry about the rest of the league. The squad is good and we all feel confident so European football should the aim again for us.”
Newcastle will not have new recruit Remy in the team for Monday's trip to Manchester City, but hope Argentine winger Jonas Gutierrez will make it.
Gutierrez has struggled with a hamstring problem since being forced off against Braga last Saturday. He has made good progress and is expecting to be involved at the Etihad.
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