Allardyce to gamble on Yorke

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The Independent Football

As Gary Speed moved from Newcastle to Bolton yesterday, the Wanderers' manager, Sam Allardyce, was attempting to rescue Dwight Yorke from his misery at Blackburn Rovers.

As Gary Speed moved from Newcastle to Bolton yesterday, the Wanderers' manager, Sam Allardyce, was attempting to rescue Dwight Yorke from his misery at Blackburn Rovers.

Allardyce has asked for permission to approach the former Manchester United striker who is available for free after falling out with Graeme Souness.

Yorke can meet Allardyce, having been omitted from Blackburn's trip to Germany, and he could join Bolton immediately. Blackburn have already agreed that Yorke can go for nothing despite his contract having a year to run, so it would come down to terms - and attitude.

Allardyce is not afraid to gamble on players with ability and believes his management and backroom team can bring out the best in Yorke. Bolton want a striker after bids for Henri Camara were refused by Wolves.

Speed became Allardyce's latest senior signing last night after turning down Fulham.

The Welsh midfield veteran had a straight choice after both clubs agreed a deal with Newcastle United. He opted to follow Les Ferdinand and Michael Bridges to The Reebok and did not go to Fulham for talks.

Speed will sign a two-year deal, and his arrival was termed a "major coup" by Allardyce.

The decision came as a surprise to Fulham, who expected Speed for a medical yesterday but learned he had picked Bolton partly because his family are settled in the north.

At 34, Speed is joining one of the oldest squads in the top flight and becomes Allardyce's fourth capture this summer - halfway to his target of eight.

Bolton have a handful of trialists and are still hopeful of buying Camara. Speed's arrival may mean the end of new talks about Youri Djorkaeff's contract, after signs that the Frenchman might return for another season.

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