Megson set for Bolton after Leicester exit

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The Independent Football

Leicester City last night confirmed that their manager, Gary Megson, had left the club after he decided to open talks with Bolton regarding their vacant managerial position.

The Championship club had already spurned two approaches from Bolton, who parted company with Sammy Lee last week, but relented after Megson, 48, said that he was interested in a return to the Premier League. Chairman Milan Mandaric said: "Gary decided that he wanted to speak to Bolton. We have agreed compensation and we move on. This is something that was not planned. We have worked tirelessly to prevent this from happening, but in the end there was nothing we could do. Gary's heart was not in this football club anymore.

"I made it abundantly clear that Bolton's interest was neither welcome or invited but it was evident to me that Gary's loyalties and heart lay elsewhere."

Megson only took over at the Walkers Stadium on 13 September, and the Foxes won just three of his nine games in charge, and only one of those victories came in the league – a 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday. Leicester have found the net just five times in the seven Championship matches under Megson.

Mandaric continued: "Naturally I am very disappointed. My objectives were to stand firm in the face of mounting interest from Bolton and intense media speculation over Gary's future but in the end these completely undermined my firm determination to retain his services.

"Needless to say our objectives to win promotion this season remain the same. The search for a new manager begins in earnest.

"In the meantime, assistant manager Frank Burrows and Gerry Taggart will assume temporary control of first-team affairs until we are in a position to announce a significant appointment."

Mandaric is now searching for the fourth manager of 2007, with Rob Kelly, Nigel Worthington and Martin Allen having already left the club since the former Portsmouth owner took over.

Bolton's caretaker manager, Archie Knox, has ordered his players to ignore speculation over their potential next manager and focus on the Portuguese side Braga and tonight's opening Uefa Cup Group F tie.

"They may be disappointed that some have left and others have come in," he said. "But they've got to make sure when they get on the pitch that they give a good account of themselves."