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Megson's Millions: The Miguel Veloso saga

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Here's the story of how Bolton nearly smashed their transfer record to sign a defensive midfielder

UEFA Champions League Group F: Manchester United v Sporting Lisbon Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Cast your minds back eight years to January 2009. After losing four games in a row without scoring, Bolton Wanderers manager Gary Megson decided the team could benefit from some extra quality in midfield. Bolton needed a player worthy of replacing club legend Ivan Campo, who had left at the end of the 2007/2008 season. The player targeted was Sporting Lisbon and Portuguese international Miguel Veloso.

Unlike his predecessors, Gary Megson had been given an extremely large transfer budget to sign players.

Having already spent close to £15 million on Fabrice Muamba and Johan Elmander at the start of the season, Megson was in no mood to tighten the purse strings.

A one time target of Arsenal and Manchester United, 22 year old Veloso had been earning praise in Portugal. Obviously, the thought of signing an international quality player that had been linked to the upper echelons of the Premier League got Wanderers fans excited. A lot of Bolton fans hyped up the move after watching grainy youtube footage of Veloso like the video below.

On 24th January 2009 Megson made his first move, bidding an astonishing £12 million.

A Daily Mirror article stated:

"Bolton boss Gary Megson is making a record-breaking bid to sign Portuguese superstar Miguel Veloso in a £12million deal with Sporting Lisbon.

Wanderers officials have been in Lisbon trying to broker the transfer for the talented midfield star who has been linked with both Man United and Man City."

Now, £12 million seems a relatively small amount for a Premier League club. Middle of the road teams like AFC Bournemouth, Watford FC, Sunderland, Hull City and Middlesbrough have all spent at least £12 million on one or more players this season.

Much to Megson's dismay, the first bid was rejected, with Sporting intent on getting closer to £20 million.

Another bid was made and rejected, before Wanderers and Megson made a third and final offer of a reported £14 million. Once again, Sporting rejected the bid.

The deal was declared dead after Bolton's 3-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur on the 31st January, with Megson declaring:

"The amount they want, I wouldn't feel comfortable paying, and nobody else will,

As far as I'm concerned it's finished."

Bolton would once again be linked with Veloso in the Summer 2009, but Wanderers wouldn't bid for the player again.

Now 30, Miguel Veloso would remain at Sporting until 2010, when he made the move to Serie A side Genoa. A spell in Ukraine followed, before a return to Genoa last Summer.

Gary Megson would go on to sign Sean Davis on a free transfer instead.