Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt says he believes the club are close to completing a deal to sign midfielder Kieran Lee, and admits he may have to let some players leave the club for that to happen.
Lee has been a free agent since leaving Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the summer, having made over 200 appearances in all competitions for the Owls.
The midfielder has been training with Bolton in recent weeks, and it now appears as though the two parties are moving towards an agreement that could see the 32-year-old officially become a Wanderers player.
Providing an update on the situation surrounding Lee, Evatt was quoted by The Manchester Evening News as saying: “We are progressing and it is not a million miles away. As I say, because of the salary cap and where we are at, I want this club to be sustainable.
“We are currently working on what funds we can make available by moving players out before we finalise a deal with Kieran. It is going quite nicely, though, and we’re not too far away.”
Indeed, it seems Evatt is confident Lee would be a significant asset for the club on the pitch, were a deal to be completed.
Assessing just what the midfielder would bring to his side, the Bolton boss added: “First and foremost he has experience and he’s a leader. I don’t think we have too many leaders in the team – and in the spine of the team especially, you need it.
“He brings some real quality on the ball. You have to have that if you play as many games as Kieran has in the Championship at Sheffield Wednesday, he’s won numerous individual awards there.
“And ultimately, he has a great engine. In this league you have to be able to cover the ground and his stats throughout his career – he’s averaging 12-12.5km a game – is exceptional.”
As things stand, Bolton are currently 15th in the League Two table, five points adrift of the play-off places, and nine clear of the relegation zone.
This does seem to be something of a promising update from a Bolton perspective.
Lee’s Championship experience and ability will surely be a big boost for the club if they are able to get a deal done, and it does look as though they are moving in that direction.
Indeed, given Evatt is willing to move players out of the club in order to get this deal sorted, there will be a fair amount of pressure on Lee to step up and make a big contribution should he sign a contract.
This therefore, looks as though it could be a fascinating watch over the next few weeks, to see just who Bolton move on, and whether or not Lee can live up to these rather large expectations being placed on him.