Bent saga beginning to badger Bruce

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce says he is close to ditching plans to sign Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent, with negotiations dragging on too long for his liking.

The Black Cats have long been linked with the former Ipswich and Charlton talisman, with the Wearsiders also openly keen on Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch and Bordeaux front-man Marouane Chamakh.

Spurs are now the favourites to bag Crouch, after the England international snubbed a move to the Stadium of Light to remain in the south, increasing the likelihood of Bent leaving White Hart Lane this summer.

However, Bruce has revealed that a deal to seal the signing is still far from being completed, and that he is beginning to grow impatient.

"I do not know if Tottenham's deal for Peter Crouch will help us. It is one we are visiting, but we cannot wait around forever," he said in the Sunderland Echo.

"We are still short, a long way off in terms of our valuations at the moment. We will look at it again, but if we can't agree, we will move on.

"We are not making headway at the moment and there hasn't been any progress over the weekend."

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