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Horncastle: European transfer grades

Transfers about an hour ago
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Top 5: First XI costs in Premier League

Transfers 4 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 21, 2008

Bolton boss Megson plots Bullard swoop

Bolton manager Gary Megson has confirmed he would love to take Jimmy Bullard to the Reebok Stadium as part of a last-gasp dash for new players before the end of the transfer window.

The talented Fulham midfielder has been linked with a string of Barclays Premier League clubs this summer, and recent reports claimed the Trotters have sounded out their rivals with a firm offer.

Following a season and a half out of action with an horrific injury suffered against Wanderers' weekend opponents Newcastle in September 2006, Bullard proved he was back to his all-action best as he played a key role in the London club's ultimately successful bid for top-flight survival last term.

While Megson stopped short of confirming his offer for the 29-year-old, he conceded the former Wigan player would be of interest if he were made available

'We've been linked with quite a few but we have shown an interest (in Bullard), indeed in quite a few other players,' he said.

'Whether he's actually for sale I'm not so sure, so that's not the only iron we've got in the fire.'

So far this summer, Megson has brought in Johan Elmander, Fabrice Muamba, Riga Mustapha and Danny Shittu to shore up a squad shorn of the likes of El-Hadji Diouf, Stelios Giannakopoulos and Abdoulaye Meite since the end of last season.

He freely admits his concern over the size of his first-team squad but insists he will not panic buy as the transfer window enters its final 10 days.

'It's like treacle in January at the moment,' he said of his tortuous attempts to secure new talent.

'It's not particularly going brilliantly but we're trying to get good players for the right price and that does take a little bit of time because people want to hang on to their players.

'We'll wait and see and if we can bring them in then all well and good, but if not we'll go with what we've got now.'

Megson's disdain for the transfer window system is well documented - a system he claims favours the big clubs who are able to splash the cash freely, while placing those on a tighter budget under pressure to spend unnecessarily.

And he admits that, even at this late stage of the summer player-hunting season, he is torn between bolstering his playing staff and making sure Bolton's limited resources are not put to waste.

'It's not a case of being under pressure to bring people in,' he said.

'If somebody had a crystal ball and said we're not going to get any injuries or suspensions before January, we're fine.

'But nobody can say that, so what do we do? Do we go out and spend millions and then find we didn't need to do so? Then you put the future of the club financially at risk.

'That's the same for quite a few teams in this Premiership.'

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