Bent future yet to be decided - Sherwood

Although he has spent much of the season on loan, Tim Sherwood has refused to rule out Darren Bent staying at Aston Villa.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood is yet to make a decision over whether to keep Darren Bent at the club after the end of the season.

Bent, who has spent the second half of the season on loan at Championship side Derby County, will be a free agent at the end of June when his contract expires.

The England international netted 14 goals this campaign, including two in five appearances during an earlier loan spell at Brighton and Hove Albion, but has been told he is not needed for the final three games of the Premier League term as Villa seek to avoid the drop.

Sherwood said: "The door is not shut on him. I read the other day I did not want Darren Bent back - that's untrue.

"I know all about Darren Bent. I don't need to learn anything about him. There's a decision to be made over him but I can do that over a four-year memory period at Tottenham.

"I will have a chat with him but we need to stay in the Premier League. If we do, maybe we can afford his wages.

"The way the conversation with [owner] Randy Lerner will probably go is: 'I think we need another striker and I know this boy and he is available. Do we take a gamble on someone else or do we bring him back?'

"That's my decision and I'm sure Randy will say: 'that's what you get paid for, that's your decision'.

"He's a good lad and if you look at his goalscoring record it is right up there with anyone.

"He respects the fact we treat him like a man. He knows our style of management.

"It's not 'them and us'. They have to realise I'm the boss but in the end I treat him like a man and I'm honest.

"He's certainly someone who will be considered. He knows me and he knows he will get chances to score goals [if he plays for me]."