DARREN Bent admits he snubbed a move to Crystal Palace to be reunited with Martin Jol at Fulham.
The Aston Villa striker joined the Whites on a season-long loan this morning and is expected to travel with the squad for tomorrow's Premier League opener at Sunderland.
Bent was close to moving to Palace earlier this week, only for Fulham to swoop in and hijack the deal.
And the 29-year-old, who was signed by boss Jol at Spurs, admits the Dutchman was key to his move to Craven Cottage.
“I'm glad to be here,” Bent told Fulham TV . “After one conversation with the manager I knew it was where I wanted to be.
“Crystal Palace were interested. I respect Ian Holloway and the club but I know Martin and can't wait to get going now.
"He signed me at Tottenham but left shortly after. Hopefully I can repay his faith.”
Bent was frozen out of first-team affairs at Villa Park and made to train with the kids after being deemed surplus to requirements by manager Paul Lambert.
But the striker has now targeted a return to the England fold ahead of next summer's World Cup.
He added: “It's at the back of my mind. I need to be playing well for my club to get into the squad.
“First and foremost it's important the team does well. There's no reason why I can't be there.”
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