Allardyce in quit threat over transfer budget

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The Independent Football

Although there was the good news that Jay-Jay Okocha has agreed a new two-year deal at Bolton after months of haggling and fears that he would move, his manager Sam Allardyce appeared ready to trade on his soaring reputation and find another club if Wanderers do not give him the transfer funds he wants.

Although there was the good news that Jay-Jay Okocha has agreed a new two-year deal at Bolton after months of haggling and fears that he would move, his manager Sam Allardyce appeared ready to trade on his soaring reputation and find another club if Wanderers do not give him the transfer funds he wants.

Okocha, the club captain, settled on a similar pay packet to his old £30,000-a-week contract. He finally accepted those terms yesterday. The Nigerian had also been linked with Everton and Celtic, but Bolton's success and the fact that his family has settled persuaded him to stay.

Allardyce, however, dropped the biggest possible hint that he could join the managerial merry-go-round should Wanderers not match his personal ambitions.

Allardyce wants enough cash to sign eight players after taking Bolton to a club-record eighth-place finish. But the extra prize money for that - £5m more than was anticipated - is being earmarked to pay off debts .

"You would expect it because you have earned it," he said. "I have not had the final figures yet, but I sense it is not as big as I had wanted. If they want to go to the next level they have got to make a decision. We have created a lot more revenue and I expect it - nothing more. It looks like I am a victim of my own success. Everybody can have a golden year and we have had it. But if we don't sign enough players and the right quality we won't even be in the top half next season."

He said: "I have a great relationship with the chairman [Phil Gartside], but it doesn't stop me doing my job and saying what I need to say. I might wake up one morning and say I've had enough. When it happens I will tell my wife first and the chairman second."

Bolton are down to 13 senior signed players after freeing seven, including Per Frandsen. Four more are in talks to stay, headed by Youri Djorkaeff. Allardyce is close to signing David Unsworth from Everton and Aliou Cisse from Birmingham.

The key moves for Rivaldo and possibly Barcelona's Michael Reiziger are the ones that will stretch the budget.

Of Rivaldo, Allardyce said: "I thought I had virtually clinched it. But there is something he is not happy with." Rivaldo had agreed wages but his agents are looking for a £500,000 fee on top.

* Diego Forlan is on his way out of Manchester United, with Atletico Madrid opening talks to sign him, writes Alan Nixon. The Uruguayan will move this summer if Atletico can agree either a permanent £2.5m deal or a one-year loan arrangment.

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