All indications are now pointing to Bolton Wanderers aiming to match fans' ambitions by targeting young and inexperienced Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to succeed Owen Coyle. Bolton could provide Solskjaer with a nice challenge as well as a place to cut his teeth in England.
The former Manchester United striker was due to speak at the Leaders in Football conference in London yesterday before he pulled out of his appearance, something we told you about yesterday. The conference featured a lot of the biggest names on the business side of football as well as the likes of Paolo Di Canio, a man whose lifeblood is quite literally hyperbole. Paolo Di Canio went on to say at the conference that he was flattered by his link to Bolton and hopes to "manage England" one day. Solskjaer's representatives attributed his absence from the conference to illness.
Where the story take a pleasant little turn is when you become aware that Phil Gartside, among other members of Bolton's staff, were also in attendance at the conference. Everything now points to Bolton Wanderers desiring to open talks with the Molde manager in hopes of getting him to the Reebok Stadium.
Solskjaer was in talks with Aston Villa over the summer as the Lions had hoped he would take the place of Alex McLeish before the start of the current Premier League season. Those talks led to an angry reaction from Molde owner Kjell Inge Rokke, not taking the news well that his up-and-coming manager could leave.
The really important bit here is that the Trotters believe that they could offer Solskjaer a bit of a transfer purse come the January transfer window in order for a second half of the season push towards the Premier League promotion. Bolton do have massive debts (in the neighborhood of £100 million) on their books but the entirety of those debts are owed to owner Eddie Davies. Despite that figure, it is believed that Bolton are in healthy enough of a financial position to mount a challenge.
Despite reports yesterday that Mick McCarthy was out of the running for a chance at the Trotters' helm, new indications are that he (alongside assistant Terry Richards) are still in with a chance but are not Bolton's first choice at all.
After 25 games played, Solskjaer's Molde are top of the Norwegian Tippeligaen on 51 points, two points clear of rivals Rosenborg. Solskjaer led Molde to their first-ever league title last season.