As is the case every Summer and every January, transfer rumours are in full flow. Daily articles linking players with other clubs for extortionate fees. Bolton Wanderers are no exception. I mean, the extortionate fees are in the past for Wanderers, but the waft of rumours is still as prominent.
Taking a break away from the modern rumours, let's take a look at five of the most outrageous Bolton Wanderers transfer rumours from the past.
5. Javier Saviola - Barcelona to Bolton Wanderers, 2006
After the disappointment of not signing Andy Johnson (no, seriously), who ended up at Everton, Big Sam was linked with a wealth of international striking talent. Wanderers would eventually sign Nicolas Anelka, but were first linked with Argentinian international and then Barcelona striker Javier Saviola. Despite the Catalan giants spending £15 million to sign Saviola in 2001, they were willing to accept a bid as low as £2 million. The move didn't happen, and Saviola went to Real Madrid instead in 2007.
4. Dennis Bergkamp - Arsenal to Bolton Wanderers, 2003
Big Sam was a man with a plan. Having already signed Youri Djorkaeff, Ivan Campo and Jay-Jay Okocha, Allardyce was looking for another seasoned legend to elevate Wanderers up the league. So he set his gaze towards Arsenal and Netherlands magician, Dennis Bergkamp. Ultimately, Bergkamp decided to stay at Highbury. Big Sam stated in July 2003: “I came close to signing Dennis Bergkamp but he was not interested in coming north to play. It's disappointing because he would have been a fantastic acquisition for this football club. He was out of contract at Arsenal and we could have budgeted for his wages.”
3. Alessandro Del Piero - Juventus to Bolton Wanderers, 2005
Having led Wanderers to the UEFA Cup in the 2004/2005 season, Big Sam could attract a higher quality of player. Hidetoshi Nakata had already signed on loan from Fiorentina, and Allardyce was rumoured to be after another Serie A superstar. That player, was Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero. At the time, Del Piero was in and out of the Juve first team, and it was rumoured that Big Sam was ready to take Del Piero on loan to guarantee him first team football, which would enhance his chance of making Italy's world cup squad.
2. David Beckham - Real Madrid to Bolton Wanderers, 2006
Easily the most recognisable footballer at the time, Real Madrid and England superstar David Beckham was linked with an unlikely move to The Reebok at the tail end of 2006. With his Madrid deal expiring in 2007, Big Sam stated: “Bolton Wanderers would love to sign David Beckham, of course we would. We're trying to take Bolton Wanderers to the next level – not just a small-town club but a big club.” Obviously, Bolton didn't sign David Beckham. Instead, Becks moved to the MLS to play for LA Galaxy, signing one of the biggest contracts in world football in the process.
1. Rivaldo - AC Milan to Bolton Wanderers, 2004
The closest of any of the these rumours to actually happen. Despite being 32 at the time, Brazilian superstar Rivaldo would have been an extraordinary signing for Bolton Wanderers. Just a year after helping Milan win the Champions League (and only two after Brazil won the world cup), Rivaldo was in discussions to become a Wanderer. Sadly, due to a mixture of wage demands and a reluctance to commit to a deal, Bolton pulled out of the transfer. Rivaldo would move to Greek giants Olympiacos instead. The saga will probably be best remembered for the immortal words; “I've got a fax in my pocket.”
Know of any outrageous rumours i've missed off the list? Let me know in the comments box below.