The England international looked set to me moving to Premier League new boys Crystal Palace, though Eagles’ boss Ian Holloway revealed that Martin Jol’s men have stolen a march in the race to secure the striker’s services.
Holloway told BBC London: ‘Fulham could wait a lot longer than we could so we’ve tried to force it, they’ve stepped in, took our deal.’
Fulham boss Jol signed Bent for a then club record £16.5m whilst manager of Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, though he made just seven appearances before the Dutchman was replaced by Juande Ramos in the White Hart Lane dugout.
After two years in North London, Bent moved to Sunderland, where he spent another two years before joining Aston Villa, while he also played for Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic.
He has amassed 103 Premier League goals in his career so far, a record bettered by only five other players who are yet to retire.