McLeish admits: I could sell Bent
Published 22:30 25/12/11 By James Nursey
Alex McLeish has admitted for the first time Aston Villa's England striker Darren Bent could leave next month - providing they get an irresistible bid.
Villa are willing to listen to offers for many of their stars to raise funds for boss McLeish, who must sell to buy.
He has already considered "sacrificing" captain Stiliyan Petrov.
Bent's commitment has been questioned after he was seen shopping in the televised defeat to Liverpool while injured.
QPR are interested in Bent, 27, who cost £18million from Sunderland a year ago.
McLeish said: "I wouldn't think anybody can afford Darren. I wouldn't think so.
"It is very much a kind of juggling of the balls at the moment.
"We have got to trade carefully so that means I can't just go into the market without there being a kind of balance.
"But losing a striker of Darren's ability would be difficult to replace.
"His goals last season were a vital part of Villa's season in terms of keeping them up."
McLeish is wary after his shot-shy Birmingham side were relegated last season after scoring just 37 goals in 38 games.
He added: "People say that strikers make the difference in this league.
"That was something that badly affected Birmingham City last year when we lost Nikola Zigic after the League Cup final and Obafemi Martins breaking his leg was a massive blow to that club."