Sunderland boss rules out selling Bent

Bent has been a key player for the Black Cats this season and Bruce is confident of keeping his price asset.

Bruce told the Sunday Mirror: “The advantage of having a wealthy owner and a sound financial base is that I’m under no pressure to sell.

“We want to build a team, not try to dismantle one. Our aim is to build a team around ­Darren Bent and the others.

“I knew at my last club Wigan that, unfortunately, I would have to break the side up and sell players such as Emile Heskey, Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios.

“Here, we’ve got an outstanding chance of keeping hold of our best players. That’s a ­massive thing for me as a manager.”