While Bolton Wanderers fans were still celebrating last weekend's 5-0 victory at Leicester, the club's manager Sam Allardyce was busy persuading the French defender Sylvain Distin to join the Trotters, a signing he hopes to complete this week for a club-record £4m.
Allardyce agreed a fee with Paris St-Germain for the powerful defender and Distin, who has also attracted interest from Newcastle United, visited the Reebok stadium with his agent to discuss terms on Sunday.
Allardyce is confident that Bolton's remarkable start to the season and the superb facilities at their ground will persuade Distin to join, but the Frenchman may prefer to join his friend Laurent Robert at St James' Park. However, Newcastle want to agree a season-long loan while PSG would rather have the cash from a sale.
The Bolton manager is annoyed that his team did not receive the praise they deserved for thrashing Leicester. Allardyce said: "I don't think we were given the credit for how good we played. We can prove that with our stats – we had 22 shots on goal in an away game.
"We will get a lot of results if we play like that, maybe not against the bigger boys... but who knows? The players have set a level of performance that I am asking them to repeat. It's a big challenge, but if we're going to progress we can't drop below it. There would be nothing worse than taking our foot off the gas against Middlesbrough tonight. If we do they will beat us."
Allardyce will stick with the same side as Colin Hendry, Djibril Diawara and Gareth Farrelly are still injured. Akinori Nishizawa is fit but will not be included in the squad.
There was more bad news for Leicester yesterday when they learned that their striker Darren Eadie has been ruled out for a year after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury.
He has been told by specialists he must undergo another operation that will keep him out for the season. Eadie missed the final month of last season with the injury and had an operation that was thought to have solved the problem.
Manchester City's Eyal Berkovic has flown in a specialist to try to heal his hamstring. He is facing up to two months out of Kevin Keegan's side, and could also miss two Israel World Cup qualifiers.
Berkovic called for Israel's team doctor, Mark Rosnovsky, who arrived in Manchester yesterday. The midfielder blames himself for the injury and said: "I should not have played at Norwich, I was feeling tired. I have had a disrupted pre-season and it was just a case of too many games too soon." City are unhappy that Israel played Berkovic for all of a friendly last week, adding to his fatigue.Reuse content