Liverpool are believed to be in the running to sign Aston Villa forward Darren Bent after the striker clashed with new manager Paul Lambert.

The England international was stripped of the captain's armband as summer signing Ron Vlaar was handed the responsibility, before being dropped for the derby game against West Brom.

Darren Bent
Bent was left on the bench against West Brom but did come on to score [Reuters]

Bent was unhappy with the way that he was informed of the news that he would be on the bench, and revealed he had endured a difficult few weeks under new boss Lambert.

"It was nice to get started against Southampton with a goal. But I felt disappointed that I didn't start the game against West Brom," Bent told The Mirror. "It's been a crappy couple of weeks for me, finding out I was no longer captain before the Swansea game.

"And again on Sunday to find out before the game that I wasn't playing.It was disappointing. I can't remember the last time it happened.

"I only found out when the gaffer read the team-sheet out. It's frustrating and disappointing. I've not spoke to him at all about why he left me out - I've heard nothing. We'll probably speak in the week."

The Metro believes that Aston Villa are prepared to listen to offers for the 28-year-old and would consider selling in January so that they would not have to pay another instalment to Sunderland for his original transfer.

The paper has reported that Liverpool would be interested in signing the striker as they currently have a real shortage of options, with Fabio Borini sidelined with a broken foot and Andy Carroll away on-loan.

That leaves just Luis Suarez as the only fit senior striker at the club and manager Brendan Rodgers may be interested in a striker who has scored more than 100 Premier League goals in his career.

Liverpool may have some competition as the Metro states that Queens Park Rangers may look to consider their spending and make an offer in January.

Bent moved to Villa back in January 2011 and was an instant hit as he managed to score nine league goals in just 16 games. Should he be sold in the New Year then either Liverpool or QPR would be hoping for a similar record.