Candela set to seal Trotters switch

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce hopes to bolster his defence today by signing Vincent Candela from Roma.

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce hopes to bolster his defence today by signing Vincent Candela from Roma.

The 31-year-old has been out of favour with the Giallorossi this season, making just three Champions League appearances for Luigi Del Neri’s side.

Allardyce confirmed after Bolton’s 1-0 FA Cup win against Oldham yesterday that he was optimistic of signing the France full-back.

Should Candela complete his move before tonight’s transfer window deadline, he could be thrust into the team sooner than expected after Nicky Hunt’s injury at Boundary Park.

The England Under-21 international was carried off on a stretcher after a second-half horror challenge by Latics midfielder Lee Croft.

Scans revealed Hunt did not break his leg, as was first feared, but it is uncertain how long he will spend on the sidelines.

“Bolton can confirm that defender Nicky Hunt has sustained severe bruising of the ankle and shin bone,” read a statement on the official club website, www.bwfc.co.uk.

Candela has gained a wealth of experience in European football since signing for Roma from French side Guingamp in 1997.

He has earned international honours, including an appearance in France’s 2000 European Championship winning tournament, but for much of his career has been an understudy to first-choice left-back Bixente Lizarazu.

Allardyce said: “In light of what has happened to Nicky Hunt, with his injury, it might be a blessing in disguise that we can bring in a highly-experienced full-back to help with our injuries at the back. I have been talking to the player for a couple of weeks now and I am pleased that we are nearly there to doing the deal.

“He has an outstanding pedigree in the game and has won honours at the highest level including the World Cup in 1998. He has not played regular football this year but is eager to impress in the Premiership.

“In my discussions, I have been pleased with the lad’s commitment and his eagerness to be a top player for us. All he wants to do is play football and I think we can offer him that opportunity.

“He can play in any position at the back and despite him being predominately right-footed he has played the majority of his career at left-back.”

Ricardo Vaz Te scored the only goal of the game for Bolton at Oldham as Allardyce’s side moved into today’s fifth round draw.

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