Sunderland have confirmed that striker Darren Bent has submitted a transfer request, with Aston Villa believed to have had an £18 million bid for the forward accepted by the Black Cats.
"The club can confirm that it received a written transfer from Darren Bent following yesterday's Wear-Tyne derby match," read a statement.
The 26-year-old has netted 12 goals for Sunderland this season in all competitions, taking his overall tally to 36 since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur for £10 million in August 2009.
Sunderland currently sit sixth in the Premier League, but now expect to see their star striker depart for a Villa side currently 17th in the top flight, with goal difference alone keeping them out of the drop zone.
More to follow.