What the papers say - 19/01/11

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WE take a look around the national papers for all the sporting news and gossip.

THE TIMES: Gerard Houllier insisted last night that Aston Villa`s £24 million investment in Darren Bent was not a panic buy but “a major milestone for the club”. ALSO: Liverpool are ready to intesify their pursuit of Luis Suarez, the Uruguay forward.

THE SUN: Steve Bruce took a furious parting shot at Darren Bent by telling him he had let everyone at Sunderland now. ALSO: Mario Balotelli has launched an incredible tirade in which he targets Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney, Manchester United and Premier League defenders.

THE INDEPENDENT: The Sunderland manager Steve Bruce last night launched a stinging attack on his departing striker Darren Bent, accusing the player of not giving his best for the club and betraying the Sunderland fans over his £24m move to Aston Villa. ALSO: Aaron Ramsey could start his first Arsenal match in 11 months tonight.

DAILY MAIL: Nick Easter has declared his readiness to lead depleted England into the Six Nations after captain Lewis Moody was ruled out with six weeks with a knee injury. ALSO: Tottenham have seen off competition from Chelsea to sign Steven Pienaar from Everton on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

DAILY STAR: Gerard Houllier last night hailed Aston Villa`s new £24m striker Darren Bent - then warned his rivals to forget about signing his other stars. ALSO: Joze Maria Olazabal described his appointment as Europe`s Ryder Cup captain last night as the proudest moment of his career.

DAILY MIRROR: Mario Balotelli has taken a huge swipe at Wayne Rooney, claiming the England star is not even the best striker in Manchester. ALSO: Darren Bent admits his price tag made him flop at Spurs but says he can handle being Aston Villa`s record buy.

THE GUARDIAN: Steven Gerrard has told Liverpool`s owners to look no further than Kenny Dalglish for the club`s next permanent manager. ALSO: Avram Grant and Karren Brady are expected to hold talks before the weekend to clear the air following that speculation that has surrounded the Israeli`s job as West Ham United manager.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: West Ham United want to sign Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner - but have balked at the £15million asking price - after dramatically ditching their plans to replace Avram Grant as their manager. ALSO: Manchester United are to open talks with Ryan Giggs within the next month in an attempt to secure the 37-year-old to a new one-year deal at Old Trafford.

DAILY EXPRESS: Aston Villa`s £24million new boy Darren Bent last night hit back at the Sunderland snipers and insisted he is no mercenary. ALSO: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has made Roma striker Mirko Vucinic his next January target after beating Chelsea to the signing of Steven Pienaar.