Bent a Magath family favourite

Fulham boss Felix Magath has revealed that working with Darren Bent has fulfilled the wish of his son Leonard.

Football News: Darren Bent

Leonard, 16, advised his father when he was managing clubs in the German Bundesliga including Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Schalke to sign Bent, his favourite player.

The 30-year-old former England striker is unavailable for Saturday's clash with Aston Villa because he is on loan at Craven Cottage from the midlands club.

But Magath insists that now he has inherited Bent following his appointment by Fulham, he may have a key role to play in the quest for Barclays Premier League survival.

"Darren is a very good player - he's my son's favourite player!" he said.

"He told me for six or seven years that I had to buy Darren Bent.

"I've known him for years and he's a very good striker. If he has the training sessions he could be a player that can help us."

Magath and Bent appeared to be at loggerheads following Sunday's 3-1 home defeat by Everton as mixed messages emerged over the forward's fitness.

Having selected Bent on the bench and started unknown 17-year-old Moussa Dembele, Magath stated he was carrying a knock that prevented him from coming on, a claim that was denied by the player.

A family bereavement forced Bent to miss the 1-1 draw with West Brom on February 22 and he has made only two appearances in the five matches since.

Adding to the disquiet at Craven Cottage are reports that Shahid Khan is ready to sack Magath with Fulham rooted to the foot of the Premier League, marooned five points adrift of safety with just six games remaining.

Magath insists his relationship with Bent is good and that the speculation over his future is unfounded.

"There are no problems with Darren. We had a special situation and he had some days off for private reasons and that unsettled him," he said.

"He didn't join us for the game against West Brom so there were a few things that were not really good.

"On Friday he stopped training and left the pitch to see the medical staff. He didn't train.

"On Saturday he was better and he told me 'I'm fine' so I decided to name him on the bench because he's a player we need.

"But the risk of letting him play was too high because he had been unable to train on Friday. It's normal you have discussion about such things.

"Now somebody was writing I'm out. You always have such subjects where nobody knows where it comes from. It doesn't matter.

"He came to me on Tuesday and we talked together. It's fine for me."

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