Liverpool have long coveted Jason McAteer, the Republic of Ireland midfielder, while Arsenal and Blackburn head the queue for Alan Stubbs, a centre-back in his new manager's own skilful image. "No one will be leaving," McFarland said. "Two of the three sides promoted the season before last came straight back down, and we won't survive by selling our best players."
Colin Todd, who worked as Bruce Rioch's assistant, will continue in the role under McFarland. The pair have remained friends since they became partners with Derby and England in the early 1970s. The Bolton chairman, Gordon Hargreaves, said that far from Todd feeling overlooked, the idea of their reuniting in management had been his.
Bolton's choice will surprise many. McFarland has spent all but 18 months of the past 28 years at Derby as captain, assistant manager, caretaker manager and finally manager. In a brief sabbatical as player-manager of Bradford City, he took them to promotion. However, Rioch's record was similarly patchy, and McFarland's stock remains high within the game.
Huddersfield Town will name their new manager today. Brian Horton, sacked by Manchester City, is the favourite to succeed Neil Warnock. Osvaldo Ardiles, dismissed as manager of Tottenham last year, has resumed his coaching career with the top Mexican club, Guadalajara.
n The Belgian player, Jean-Marc Bosman, went to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg yesterday in a case that could wreck the transfer system. Bosman is claiming exorbitant transfer fees and Uefa's restrictions on foreign players undermine their freedom of movement - a right enjoyed by other European Union workers.
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