Sat, Aug 26, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Bolton breaks the bank to sign `Le Sulk'

AFP , BOLTON, ENGLAND

Nicolas Anelka, center, in action for Fenerbahce in a Turkish Super League soccer match earlier this year. The French striker signed for Bolton Wanderers for ?8 million, the club announced yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

Bolton Wanderers shattered the club record transfer fee to bring France squad exile Nicolas Anelka back to the English Premiership from Turkish league runners-up Fenerbahce.

The Trotters forked out ?8 million (US$15.1 million) for the prolific 27-year-old striker, who agreed to a four-year deal at the Reebok Stadium, the club announced yesterday.

He successfully completed a medical and Bolton boss Sam Allardyce was relieved to have finally brought the former Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City striker back to the Premiership without anyone pinching him from under their noses.

"Patience is a virtue and I am pleased to say that all the waiting and hard work we've done behind the scenes has paid off," he told the club's Web site.

"I don't know for certain until we've actually worked together whether it will work or not. I don't have any great fears or trepidations regarding anyone else's reputations beforehand," Allardyce said about the player dubbed "Le Sulk" who has often proved difficult to handle.

"Nicolas is a player with an amazing track record in the Premiership: he was born to score goals, Allardyce said. "His talent and experience will be a valuable asset for us."

Anelka was due to travel to London to meet his new team-mates ahead of their Premiership game away to Charlton Athletic at The Valley today.

The France international returns to England after an 18-month stint at Istanbul side Fernerbahce, which he joined from Manchester City.

The fee dwarfs Bolton's previous highest outlay of ?3.5 million paid to Wimbledon for Dean Holdsworth in 1997.

Anelka started his career at Paris Saint-Germain and spent a troubled year at Spanish giants Real Madrid.

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