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Paul Ince has conceded Aston Villa have made a bid for David Bentley, but insists he has every intention of keeping his best players at Blackburn.

A pre-season victory over Macclesfield at Moss Rose saw Ince start his Rovers reign with a victory, but it was the absence of David Bentley that occupied his thoughts at full-time.

A calf injury meant Bentley played no part, amid talk that a £17million move to Tottenham was imminent, but it has now become clear that Villa have also made an offer for the England wide man.

Ince, though, is determined to keep the nucleus of his squad together, as he looks to build on the work Mark Hughes did before him in the Ewood Park hot-seat.

"There's been an offer from Villa. But that's as far as it goes," Ince told Sky Sports News.

"He was due to play tonight but he got a knock in his calf and we decided to give him a couple of days to get ready for Germany.

"That's the idea (to keep him), I want to keep hold of all my players and David Bentley is no different."
No exits

Speculation has been been rife that Brad Friedel will also leave the club for either Manchester City or Aston Villa but when quizzed on the veteran American, Ince was equally unequivocal in his response.

"When I first came to Blackburn I said I wanted to keep my best players and Brad's definitely one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.

"I want to keep Brad and as that's the case, why would I be linked with Paul Robinson?

"I understand in the Premiership you'll always be linked with players coming and going. But as I said before, people like Brad and Bentley and (Roque) Santa Cruz I want to keep."
 
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