Sam Allardyce, the Bolton Wanderers manager, has flown in one of Peru's best strikers, Flavio Maestri, for transfer talks about a move to the Premiership.
Maestri arrived yesterday in the north-west and will stay for a few days while they discuss terms with him and his Chilean, club Universidad de Chile. The 28-year-old is considered to be one of the best front-runners in South America, but could be snapped up for around £2m, which is just within Bolton's price range.
Maestri also has enough caps for Peru to secure a work permit, as he is a current international for the country which just failed to reach the World Cup finals. Allardyce is desperate for a new striker to partner his leading scorer Michael Ricketts as his side drops towards relegation trouble.
Allardyce has also been in Germany for extended talks with Borussia Dortmund's German international Fredi Bobic. He could arrive on a free but his willingness to move and his wage demands are proving a problem. That leaves Maestri the more likely option.
Meanwhile, Bolton are also in talks with Benfica's Ukrainian international midfielder Sergei Kandaurov, who can move for around £500,000. Kandaurov nearly joined Blackburn a year ago but is due to join Wanderers if they can obtain a work permit.
Bolton have failed in their bid to have the three-match bans received by Paul Warhurst and Dean Holdsworth overturned. The pair were both sent off by referee Mike Riley in the 2-2 draw against Leicester last month and their suspensions start with immediate effect. They had been due to miss the Barclaycard Premiership clash with Manchester United on January 29 but the postponed FA Cup tie against Stockport means they will instead be ruled out of the rearranged game. They will also miss the league games against Chelsea and Middlesbrough.
Allardyce said: "Obviously it's a disappointing decision from our point of view as they'll be out for two very important Premiership games."
Bolton's on-loan Japanese striker Akinori Nishizawa has cut short his season-long stay after failing to make an impact at the Reebok Stadium.
The 25-year-old international has returned to the J-League club Cerezo Osaka in search of regular football after making just three first-team appearances – all in the Worthington Cup – scoring once.
"Unfortunately Aki was unable to make an impression on our first-team and we've agreed to let him return to Japan," Allardyce said. "With the World Cup coming up he needs regular first-team football."
One target for Bolton, Francisco "Kiko" Narvaez, has instead signed for Extremadura of the Spanish Second Division. Kiko, 29, who left Atletico Madrid in the summer and had been seeking a move abroad, has signed along with another international striker, Italy's Pier Luigi Cherubino.Reuse content