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Villa leads the way in Audi Player Index

Five Aside
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By ESPN Staff

Bolton match Wigan's 8.5million bid for Johnson

Crystal Palace have accepted an £8.5million bid from Bolton for striker Andrew Johnson.

Wanderers are the second club to offer the amount demanded by Simon Jordan after the Palace chairman accepted a similar proposition from Wigan.

Johnson, who is on standby for England's World Cup squad, is due to travel to the north-west for talks with Wigan tomorrow after the 'B' international against Belarus at Reading tonight.

'Crystal Palace have accepted another bid for Andrew Johnson, after Bolton Wanderers offered £8.5million for the player on Thursday,' read a statement on Palace's official website, www.cpfc.co.uk.

'The offer from Sam Allardyce's side matches the one made on Wednesday by Wigan Athletic, and therefore the 25-year-old now has permission to speak to both Lancashire clubs.'

Jordan told PA Sport on Wednesday that Everton were also showing interest in the player but had not matched his valuation, while he also believes Portsmouth are interested.

Jordan persuaded Johnson to sign a new five-year deal with Palace last summer, but their failure to make an instant return to the Barclays Premiership meant the former Birmingham striker resolved to leave Selhurst Park.

Bolton's bid comes after Jordan had informed them that Wigan were 'in the box seat' to sign Johnson, and that Wanderers were running out of time if they wished to sign him.