Nishizawa set to join new faces at Bolton

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The Independent Football

Bolton Wanderers are close to signing the Japanese striker Akinori Nishizawa, according to newspaper reports originating from the player's homeland. Nishizawa, who returned to the J-League club Cerezo Osaka recently after a frustrating spell with the Spanish side Espanyol, was scheduled to travel to Bolton with his agent for talks yesterday. He has scored nine goals in 22 appearances for Japan and 43 times in 124 J-League matches.

Bolton are also are making a £2.2m bid for the Yugoslavian international centre-half Milan Obradovic, but could be disappointed. The 23-year-old defender from Obilic was in talks with the Premiership new boys but may prefer a move to Spartak Moscow instead.

The Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, has instigated moves for a long list of players in his efforts to assemble a squad capable of Premiership survival. A remarkable eight trialists from around the world turned out for Bolton in a friendly at the weekend. "Don't ask me all of their names because I can't remember," Allardyce joked.

The full list of Bolton hopefuls comprised: the goalkeepers Günther Kreissl, from Austria, and the Italian Gianluca Baranga; the defenders Clayton Blackmore and Angelo Lopez, from Portugal; the midfielders Kevin Gallacher, of Scotland and Badile Lubamba, from Switzerland; and the strikers Joel Porter, of Australia, and Nicolas Ouédec from France. Ouédec and the former Newcastle winger Gallacher were among the scorers in a win over Radcliffe Borough.

On top of that Bolton are making free transfer moves for the Rangers striker Rod Wallace and the former Blackburn midfielder Billy McKinlay, while Allardyce has bids in for Manchester United's South African Quinton Fortune, the Racing Santander central defender Olof Mellberg and the Bradford City goalkeeper Matt Clarke.

Manchester United are trying to sign the German goalkeeper Robert Enke from Benfica to become Fabien Barthez's understudy. Sir Alex Ferguson has made an approach for the 23-year-old and hopes to pull off a £2.5m deal in the next few days.

Enke joined the Lisbon side a year ago from Borussia Mönchengladbach, but could be available because Benfica need the money. United turned their attentions to him after failing to sign the Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll, for whom Wigan want over £2m. Carroll is reluctant to be a reserve, even at United, and Everton still hope to close a deal.

Manchester City have flown the Australian Simon Colosimo back to England as they try to secure him a valid European Community passport. The right-back has returned to Maine Road after being turned away at the airport on his previous visit because he did not have a visa.

Colosimo is now applying for an Italian passport through his wife. He is an Australian international but does not have enough caps to qualify for a work permit.

Newcastle United have not given up hope of signing Paris St-Germain's Laurent Robert and are continuing talks with the £9.5m-rated striker.

The Walsall manager, Ray Graydon, is signing the Ivory Coast international Patrice Zère from the Belgian side Lokeren. Zère will join on a free transfer. The 30-year-old left-back has plenty of experience from his time in Belgium and France and has joined Graydon's squad on a two-year deal.

Everton are losing one of their brightest youth prospects, Sean Doherty, to Fulham in a £650,000 deal. The 16-year-old left-sided striker played for England in the Under-17 international against Brazil at the Reebok Stadium ,Bolton, yesterday.

Crewe Alexandra are signing the Hartlepool midfielder Tommy Miller in a club record £800,000 deal this week. Portsmouth are set to sign the Israel defender Amir Shelah from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The former Germany coach Berti Vogts has taken over as coach of the Kuwait national team. Vogts, who led Germany to victory at Euro 96, has been out of a job since being sacked by Bayer Leverkusen after the final game of last season.

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