Dunn to complete move to Bolton Wanderers
Sam Allardyce is hoping David Dunn's injury woes are a thing of the past as he closes in on making the Birmingham midfielder Bolton's first signing of the transfer window.
The 27-year-old is on the verge of making a £1million switch to the Reebok Stadium, with a medical appearing the only hurdle left to clear.
Trotters boss Allardyce believes the deal can be wrapped up by the end of today as he prepares for tomorrow's Premiership visit of Manchester City.
'David had a very severe back problem a couple of years ago. That's been dealt with by surgery,' Allardyce said. 'Steve (Bruce) at Birmingham has decided to move him on for whatever reason and our concern would be the medical.
'After the medical, as long as the financial negotiations continue, we can get to a conclusion on that. I hope there's nothing from the medical side to stop this transfer.'
Dunn, capped once by England, has endured a stop-start career at St Andrews since moving from Blackburn for a club-record £5.5m three-and-a-half years ago, with persistent injury problems severely limiting his impact.
He has not featured for the club since October but Blues boss Bruce insists the player is fully fit and that 'problems with his family life up north' is one of the reasons behind his departure.
A fit and firing Dunn would doubtless add quality to a Bolton squad looking to claim a UEFA Cup spot at the very least this season.
However, it is unlikely to compensate for the expected loss of versatile defender Tal Ben Haim, who has opted not to extend a contract which expires this summer.
Allardyce confirmed the news yesterday and today revealed Bolton's Premiership rivals were already making enquiries about the 24-year-old's availability.
But his manager is happy to let the Israel international run down the clock on his deal unless someone makes an offer that matches his own valuation of the player.
'We've had one or two phone calls, but no offers,' said Allardyce. 'I can't see him going anywhere in this particular window. If nobody's prepared to pay our valuation, there's no chance he's going to be leaving the football club.'
Ben Haim was one of a number of players rested for last weekend's 4-0 FA Cup win at Doncaster and is likely to return against City tomorrow.
Ivan Campo will be back from suspension but captain Kevin Nolan faces a late fitness check on a rib injury.
Fellow midfielder Quinton Fortune picked up a knock in training and is a doubt, while Henrik Pedersen remains sidelined with a calf problem and Abdoulaye Faye is banned.
Bolton won 2-0 in the reverse fixture two days before Christmas but City have record three league victories in a row since and Allardyce is expecting a more stringent test tomorrow.
'It will be a much tougher game at the Reebok tomorrow, based on Manchester City's very much improved performance,' Allardyce said.
'Some of their key players are back available to play, (Ousmane) Dabo's in the side, Micah Richards will be back and (Bernardo) Corradi in the front line - and Trevor Sinclair, I believe.'
Allardyce is also wary of a backlash from Joey Barton, who returns from suspension after being sent off during the City of Manchester Stadium clash.
The Bolton boss said: 'Joey played against us at their place and unfortunately got sent off. He'll be coming back with a vengeance probably tomorrow.'
City may have found some form but Bolton won five on the spin in December, earning Allardyce the Manager of the Month award.
He credited his players with earning him the gong before challenging them to help him win at least one more before the end of the campaign.
'Hopefully another one will be coming around this season,' he said.
'I sincerely hope they do another month like they did in December because that would put us in the position we want to be in, that is a European place for next season.'