Aston Villa new-boy Darren Bent insists his move from Sunderland was not down to money.
Bent, who shocked the Black Cats by handing in a transfer request at the weekend, has penned a four-and-a-half-year deal with Villa, who have reportedly paid £18m for the striker.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce claimed those at the North East club “have every right to feel massively let down” by the forward, while some critics have claimed money has been the motivation behind the move.
However, Bent insists his switch to Villa Park was purely down to “footballing reasons”.
The 26-year-old, capped seven times by England, said: “I'm delighted to join Aston Villa, it's a big opportunity for me.
“I had some good times at Sunderland but that's all behind me now and I'm just looking forward to getting going.
“Obviously everyone's got different opinions about why I've come to Aston Villa.
“I've shown in the past when I could have gone to West Ham for a lot more money but I chose Tottenham for footballing reasons and I've done the same here.
“We've got a tough game (against Manchester City) on Saturday. If I can take part in the game hopefully I can start helping put some points on the board.
“Sunderland are having a fantastic season but at the same time, I believe Aston Villa's position at the moment is false.
“They finished sixth last year and obviously it's a new challenge for me and something I wanted to be a part of and try and help them get back up to where they should be.
“I'm sure Steve Bruce is disappointed. I'm sure the fans and the whole club are disappointed. I'm sorry it ended the way it did. I wouldn't say my head was turned at all.
“Hopefully I gave them two good years scored a lot of goals for them and hopefully that shows my passion for the football club and hopefully they will remember me by scoring goals.”