Bruce determined to hang onto Bent
Bruce is aware that his prize asset could be topping transfer target lists across Europe after netting 23 goals in his first season at the Stadium of Light. But he insists that Sunderland owner Ellis Short has assured him that the Wearsiders will not offload their star striker, although he knows he could get a handsome return on the £10million they paid Tottenham for his services. "Please God no! He has been huge for us and the one thing we don't want to do is sell our best players," said Bruce. "There is no authority above me saying I have to sell. We need more Darren Bents. We need to look at his sort of ilk and find players of his calibre and quality. "It hasn't surprised me he scored 20 goals. He did it last year at Tottenham coming off the bench near enough, he did it at Charlton, at Ipswich. He's always done it." Bruce's counterpart at Liverpool also looks set to face a barrage of pressure to keep hold of his coveted forward with Rafa Benitez facing a battle to prevent Fernando Torres from joining Manchester City. It has been rumoured that Bent would be seen as Torres' replacement at Anfield but Bruce is prepared to snub the Reds should they come knocking. He added: "Whether (Torres leaving Liverpool) kicks off something, I sincerely hope not. I know Benty is worth a darn sight more than he was 12 months ago. "This club's got the ability to resist. The clubs I have been at before didn't resist. At Wigan we sold, at Birmingham we sold when the offer was big enough for Upson. I don't think it will happen here unless we are talking ridiculous prices. "I will do my utmost to try to hang on to him. If it becomes the funny season and if Man City repeat what happened with Lescott, maybe, but Darren has enjoyed it immensely and Sunderland has been good for him too. "He is extremely happy and very popular. I was at a shop opening the other day. I must have asked 700 kids who their favourite player was and 685 said Darren Bent."