Sam Allardyce is making a bold attempt to sign the Brazilian World Cup-winning centre-back, Roque Junior, from the European Champions, Milan, on a one-year loan.
The Bolton Wanderers manager is in talks with Roque Junior's advisers because the Brazilian did not take to life in Serie A last season and Milan have been trying to find a Brazilian club for him before Bolton stepped in. Milan are prepared to pay about half of his £40,000-a-week wages to be free of him.
Bolton need a new defender and will want a quick answer from Roque Junior as they are also interested in taking Sunderland's Brazilian, Emerson Thome, on a free transfer. Bolton hope to sign one or the other in the next few days.
Blackburn Rovers are poised to sign the veteran Italian midfielder Dino Baggio, who is in Blackburn with a view to signing on loan for the season. Baggio has agreed to leave hard-up Lazio who will take a small rental fee from Blackburn to help the move go through if the player and the Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, agree terms.
Philippe Delaye, the 27-year-old French midfielder, may also join Blackburn on loan from Rennes, and Souness is still keen on Rangers' Barry Ferguson. However, Manchester City also want to sign the Scotland captain.
Liverpool are to make a new offer of Vladimir Smicer plus cash in their attempt to sign Valencia's £7m-rated Argentinian centre-half, Roberto Ayala.