Much like Captain Renault was shocked to learn of gambling at Rick's Cafe, Bolton Wanderers fans learned from the Bolton News today that the player valued at "£10-20 million" will not be making his way to the Reebok in January.
Truth is, Bolton do not need another attacking player. We have loads, at several positions, and more returning from injury in the next few months.
That said, it does appear there will be some money to spend in January. So what do we need? The answer is pretty obvious. The defense needs strengthening. Dougie Freedman has about two months to sort things with the existing personnel, then we will have to go searching for outside help.
I actually think we are OK at fullback. And when Stuart Holden returns we will be set at central midfield, at least for this season. I would like to see us buy a young Fabrice Muamba-type, more for the future than this season.
The center of the back line is where we need help. Just generally, we don't have a lot of depth there. Sam Ricketts is OK as a short term fix, but he is not a true central defender. Zat Knight is past his best. Tim Ream is still young and inexperienced, but I think his long term home is as a holding midfielder. David Wheater returns in the spring, and he is solid, but this season is mostly lost for him. Matt Mills is an acceptable Championship level defender, but I think we have loftier ambitions than that.
Ideally, we can make a Gary Cahill-type purchase in January. A very young defender who is out-of-favor or behind big names at a Premier League club, but who has a great deal of talent.
At any rate, the rumor mill should start spitting out names soon. It will be interesting to see who Bolton are linked with. I am sure Wilfried Zaha will come up again, because of the Freedman link, but it is just not realistic, or necessary.