Allardyce in search of midfield cover for Okocha

Bolton are looking to draft in a replacement for Jay-Jay Okocha when he captains Nigeria in the African Nations Cup early next year.

Okocha could miss up to five Premiership games because of his international schedule. Bolton are keen to fill the gap by signing a midfielder when the transfer window opens in January.

The Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, will not have any transfer funds and will have to depend on an attractive salary package. Allardyce's assistant, Phil Brown, said: "We are looking in the market to improve the squad over Christmas ahead of the transfer window. That includes a creative midfield player. If we can get someone to reproduce what Jay-Jay can do, we'll probably have to pay £5m!"

* The Newcastle defender, Andy O'Brien, failed to overturn the red card he received against Chelsea last weekend. His suspension begins on 23 November. West Ham's Jermain Defoe and Huddersfield's Jonathan Worthington also failed in their appeals against wrongful dismissals.

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