Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that club captain Kevin Davies will not be offered a new deal at the Reebok Stadium, ending his ten-year association with the club.
Davies, 35, joined the Trotters on a free transfer from Southampton in 2003, going on to play a significant role in the club’s fortunes as they secured European football under Sam Allardyce.
He won his only England cap as a substitute against Montenegro in 2010 and stayed with Bolton after their relegation to the Championship on the final day of last season.
Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman said Davies would still be considered for the eight remaining games of the season as the club aim to clinch a play-off spot. However, he has also been strongly linked with a move away on loan for the rest of the campaign, which would end his association with the Trotters early.
Davies told talkSPORT: "It was a bit of a shock. I was shocked at the time and it's not quite sunk in yet, but these things happen. I've had clubs come in for me down the years but always turned them away because I've been so happy here. I always wanted to stay here and finish my career here, and hoped to go into a coaching role. That's maybe why it's shocked me so much.''
Davies insists he has no intention of hanging up his boots yet, however. "I've had a few clubs come in for me so I'm not going to start panicking about retiring just yet. I want to carry on for at least a couple more years yet. It hurts right now, but hopefully by the end of this season I'll have a new challenge ahead of me,'' he said.
Davies also revealed his contract runs out just before he is due a testimonial at Boston. He said: "It would have been nice to have one as a thank you for what I've done. I was aware when I signed [a new deal] last year it was running short, and the club said they might extend it for a week or two [to get to the testimonial] but I don't think that will happen.
"Right now it's difficult for me to take but I need to keep my head up. It's going to be hard to try to keep involved, but I just have to try my best.''
The Football League loan window closes on Thursday, with Sheffield Wednesday strongly linked with the player.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Freedman said: “Kevin Davies is, and always will be, a Wanderers legend.
“I want to be fair to him as regards his future, as he deserves it. This decision means that he is now free to sort himself out with a new club in plenty of time for next season.
“Being the type of man Kevin is, we sat down and had a chat about the future. He wants to carry on playing, and playing regularly. He has that desire to continue, and this is the best move for him.
“I would like to thank him for his complete support and utter professionalism since I arrived.”