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Bolton get permission to speak to Megson

24 October 2007 19:31

LEICESTER, England (AFP) - Bolton were granted permission to speak to Leicester's Gary Megson about their vacant manager's position on Wednesday.

The Premier League club had twice been told they would not be allowed to talk to Megson, but Leicester owner Milan Mandaric reluctantly agreed to the approach after a late-night meeting with his manager following their defeat against Sheffield United on Tuesday.

Bolton have been searching for a new boss since sacking Sammy Lee last week and had seen attempts to hire Birmingham's Steve Bruce and Real Sociedad's Chris Coleman rebuffed.

Now they seem set to land Megson, who has only been in charge of the Championship club for six weeks following 18 months out of the game.

Mandaric's statement on the Leicester website outlined how hard it had been for him to let Megson leave.

"It is with disappointment and great reluctance that I have today agreed to allow Gary Megson to open talks with Bolton Wanderers regarding their vacant managerial position," he said.

"Despite my best efforts to retain his services and turning down two formal approaches from Bolton, Gary left me with no choice last night when he informed me he wanted to leave Leicester and talk to the Premiership club.

"I made it abundantly clear that Bolton's interest was neither welcome nor invited but it was evident to me that following a meeting requested by Gary following last night's home defeat by Sheffield United that his loyalties and heart lay elsewhere.

"Naturally, I am very disappointed. My objectives were to stand firm in the face of mounting interest from Bolton and intense media speculation over Gary's future, but in the end these completely undermined my firm determination to retain his services.

"In point of fact it was abundantly clear to me that if I stood in Gary's way it would have a detrimental effect on the club and I was not prepared to allow that to happen."

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