Alex McLeish is confident Aston Villa can retain the services of striker Darren Bent as he prepares to welcome back Manchester United winger Ashley Young for Saturday night's home Barclays Premier League clash.

Bent has been the subject of speculation linking him away from Villa despite only making the £18 million switch from Sunderland in January. Young and Stewart Downing - the main creators for Bent during the second half of last season - departed Villa in the summer but McLeish is confident the former Tottenham player will remain.

When asked if he faces a struggle to retain the services of Bent, McLeish said: "I don't think so. I've not heard anything. As far as I'm concerned, he's here for the long run."

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