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Jol refuses to confirm Bent deal, criticises Holloway

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Aug 2013

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Fulham boss Martin Jol is unhappy with Crystal Palace’s Ian Holloway after he announced Darren Bent was to join the Craven Cottage outfit.

Jol refused to confirm whether English forward Bent – who is currently contracted at Aston Villa – was set to join Fulham despite Villa manager Paul Lambert suggesting so on Thursday.

Lambert said: “He’s just away down to Fulham. I think it’s well-documented now that he’s down there having a medical and that’s the last I’ve heard.”

But instead of talking about Bent, Jol decided to vent his disappointment with Holloway.

The Palace manager told BBC Radio that his club’s move for Bent had fallen through, with the 29-year-old tipped to instead join Fulham, who open their Premier League season at Sunderland on Saturday.

Jol said: “I’m not sure other managers should say that because we’re not 100 per cent sure about any player.

“Maybe he’s right, maybe not. We will see in the next day or so.

“I’ve got a few players on my list, but it’s not easy because a good player is a good player, so we will have to wait and see.”

Bent, who joined Villa from Sunderland for an initial fee of £18 million, fell out of favour under Lambert last term.

He made just eight Premier League starts in the 2012-13 campaign as the emergence of 22-year-old Christian Benteke – who scored 19 league goals in his first season in England – cast him aside.

And Jol did acknowledge he needed another player with pace in the attacking third, a bill that Bent fits.

“I am happy with all my players, but I’ve always said we need pace up front,” he said.

“We had four, but now we’ve got only two, (Hugo) Rodallega and (Dimitar) Berbatov. That’s what I’m working on.

“We won’t pay the big transfer fees. We’ve got a certain amount in our budget. Ideally, we would get in two or three new players.”

Jol remained tight-lipped on another transfer target of his, Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker.

Parker has also been linked with Championship outfit QPR, and when quizzed about him, Jol said: “You can ask and ask and ask but we won’t speculate on players before they come.

“And if they sign, we’ll tell you.”

Jol added that he was keen to keep left-back John Arne Riise but only if he was happy to be second choice behind Kieran Richardson.

Fulham begin their Premier League campaign with a tricky trip to the Stadium of Light against a Sunderland side who have made several additions to their squad in the close-season.

But Jol is excited to see how his new arrivals – including Adel Taarabt, Maarten Stekelenburg and Derek Boateng – fare.

He said: “We look forward to it because I think the new players integrated well.”

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