Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish insists the club's record signing Darren Bent will not be for sale during the January transfer window.

McLeish has stressed he has to adopt a sell-to-buy policy if he wants to bring in any new players, and offloading a player of Bent's quality - he cost Villa £18million 12 months ago - would be a way of generating funds.

The Scot said: "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. I wouldn't think anybody can afford Darren. I wouldn't think so."

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