Football

Bolton Wanderers Vs Manchester City, Sun 22 May 2011

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Bolton manager Owen Coyle is aiming to use the funds freed up by Johan Elmander's imminent departure to bring in a signature signing.

Elmander, 29, is ready for a new challenge in Turkey with Galatasaray when his contract ends next month.

The Sweden striker is expected to play his last game for the club against Manchester City after scoring 12 goals in all competitions this season.

High on Coyle's list is a ready-made replacement and the Glasgow-born boss had made no secret of his admiration for Daniel Sturridge.

The 21-year-old has weighed in with eight goals in 12 appearances after arriving on from loan in January.


 

Coyle said: "I would love to have players of that stature at the club and I will leave no stone unturned to do that. We all recognise how finance can help you.

"If Johan goes that will free up a lot of finance because he was our record signing and on a terrific contract.

"That is money I can use to bring exciting young players to the club and that has to be my aim and I will do all I can to achieve it."

Elmander scored only 10 goals in his first two seasons after arriving from Toulouse for #8.5million only to blossom under Coyle and his coaching staff.

Coyle said: "Prior to us arriving I don't think anyone at Bolton would have had a half a mind to offer Johan a new contract. We came in and for whatever reason Johan has found his real form and shown the player he is. All of a sudden the situation swings.

"But Johan is in the last year of his contract and he's really in control of his destiny."

Coyle has already held preliminary budget talks with chairman Phil Gartside and added: "Players come and go. It happens every summer. What you have to do is be forward thinking.

"You have to make make sure you have targets in place that can come in and make a smooth transition, blend in with the squad.

"Who is to say I am not out there and have a couple of Bosmans lined up myself? But I am not naming any names."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists there is more to come from Vincent Kompany.

The 25-year-old has emerged as one of City's top performers this term, bringing much-needed stability to the back four during a season when they finally ended their 35-year wait for a trophy.

With the future of Carlos Tevez uncertain and Kolo Toure still waiting for his hearing into a failed drugs test to take place, Kompany is viewed by many as City's captain-elect.

Certainly, the Belgian has showed great maturity this year, with far more expected next term, when he gets a chance to test himself against the greatest attacking players on the planet in the Champions League.

Mancini said: "Vincent can become number one in the world. He has always played at a high level. When he was at Anderlecht and I was at Inter, I wanted to buy him.

"He was a good player then. He has improved a lot and now is one of the top defenders in Europe. But he can improve even more."

Had Mancini managed to lure Kompany away from his homeland to Italy, it is quite possible he would never have ended up at City.

The Eastlands outfit can thank their good fortune for that.

Kompany sets the standards with his professionalism on the training ground, as well as being able to implement the philosophy Mancini holds so dear.

"If we have good defenders and improve the way we defend, it will be easier for us," he said.

"Vincent is incredible. He has a fantastic mentality. His attitude has been excellent. Without doubt he has been one of our top players this year."

Although the true excitement of 'Survival Sunday' is going on elsewhere, City's short trip to Bolton is hardly meaningless.

Victory will ensure Mancini's men finish in third spot, the first time they have been so high since they were runners-up to Liverpool in 1977.

Far more importantly, it would mean they qualify automatically into the group stage of the Champions League rather than find themselves in a qualifier.

Just two European campaigns in the last five years mean that almost certainly, City would not be seeded, and the presence of Bayern Munich and Villarreal already amongst the teams who will be emphasises why a win at the Reebok is so keenly demanded.

"This game is very important," said Mancini.

"If we can do a normal pre-season and can prepare properly before the Community Shield and start of the Premier League, everything is fine.

"But if we also have qualifying games, it is different for us."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League

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