Sunderland Manager Steve Bruce has slammed Gerard Houllier over Darren Bent’s move to Aston Villa. Bruce has accused Houllier of approaching the striker long before the deal went through.
Bruce insists a top class manager would have shown respect and called him to say they were interested in the forward but up until this point he still hasn’t received a phone call from the Frenchman.
The Black Cats boss also admitted that Bent want to leave for Turkey last summer but the he managed to convince the England international to stay.
"I would have thought out of respect and a manager of his status, I would have thought maybe a phone call from him to say 'Listen Steve, we're after your centre forward and your striker.'
"I would have thought, maybe that might have been the way forward, it usually is with the great managers I've had the pleasure to deal with in the past, that's usually the case.
"But in this, so the whole thing has disappointed us and I thought we'd averted it last summer - he (Bent) wanted to go to Turkey last summer and we averted it then.
"So, it's the timing for me - if I'd have known four weeks beforehand or five, six weeks beforehand from his agent or Darren that they were unhappy at the club and wanted to move on then I wouldn't be in a position that I'm in now, with ten days before the window ended and with an injury to Danny Welbeck, that's put us in the situation that we're in and it gives you very little time to try and do anything.
"So it's the timing of it and that's the disappointing thing - all Benty's thought of is himself but I suppose that's football and that's the way it is."
"There's a lot of people bitterly upset and disappointed, and rightly so.
"My big disappointment of course is Gerard Houllier too who up until this time now, I still haven't had a phone call from.
Bruce said he was shocked when Darren Bent handed in a written transfer request, just as the club and fans were, "I think what shocked us all was the written transfer request with Benty that it was so brutal, you know.
"And then in my experience with him, what's the point of keeping someone who doesn't really want to be here.
"I have to say in the last few weeks we have all been scratching our heads saying 'has there been something wrong with Benty, he doesn't look himself'.
"But we didn't see it coming and, yes, we were quite within our right to do that, but in my experience of these things, what is the point?"