Darren Bent admits he is surprised Ryan Fraser is still a free agent as Newcastle United close in on his capture.

The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has revealed he expected the 26-year-old to join Liverpool this summer after his departure from Bournemouth.

As revealed by Football Insider, Newcastle are confident of signing the Scotland international after a breakthrough in transfer talks.

The winger has been without a club after he left Bournemouth at the end of his contract earlier this summer.

Bent admits he thought Fraser would have been snapped up quickly by a top Premier League side and that it would be a “superb bit of business” if Newcastle can get him through the door.

Asked if Fraser’s capture would be a coup for Steve Bruce, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah, it would be and that kind of shows me that people are not sold on him like they once were.

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“I mean, I thought he was nailed on to go to Liverpool, he’s still not signed anywhere so yeah, it’s a bit of a surprising about Newcastle because he is a very good player, he has got a lot of ability and on a free I thought he’d be out the door quite quickly. 

“The fact that he’s not been is quite surprising to be fair. If Newcastle can get him, that is a superb bit of business to be fair, a really, really good bit of business.” 

Fraser has a total of 120 games, 16 goals and 29 assists under his belt in the Premier League so far.

He played 32 times across all competitions last season but managed to hit the back of the net just once.

In other news, Bruce has pulled the plug on Newcastle United senior star exit and set to hand him extended run in starting XI.