Darren Bent, the Sunderland and England striker, has handed in a transfer request at the Stadium of Light, as his club accepts an £18m bid for the forward from Aston Villa.
Bent, 26, has scored 36 goals in 62 games for the Wearside club and has become a hero with Sunderland supporters after his £10m move from Tottenham Hotspur 18 months ago.
However, Gerard Houllier and Aston Villa put forward the £18m bid, which could rise to £24m, to Sunderland boss Steve Bruce and Chairman Niall Quinn on Sunday evening.
And in what can only be described as a gamble, with Frazier Campbell injured, Danny Welbeck only on-loan from Manchester United, and £13m Asamoah Gyan still adapting to the Premier League, the Sunderland duo accepted the offer.
The deal, if it goes through, would constitute a club record transfer for the Midlands club, who are amongst the lowest scorers in the Premier League.
Villa have won only 15 points from a possible 51 under Houllier, who has struggled to endear himself to the Villa Park faithful, but the signing of Bent would go someway to appeasing the clubs supporters.