'I Can't Find Bargains!' - Big Sam

Last updated : 07 June 2006 By Matt Bottom
He has made his reputation on introducing world class stars such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Fernando Hierro and Bruno N'Gotty to the Reebok.

"The opportunity to do that now is few and far between," admits Allardyce currently linked with a £5m move for French bad boy Nicolas Anelka.

"The inflation of players has kicked in over the last two or three years and there's fewer quality players kicking around.

"And instead of getting these guys in on a free, when you find one now you're talking of maybe £2, £3, £4, £5 or £6m."

Meanwhile, Lens fullback Benoit Assou-Ekotto is attracting interest from Bolton, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Lens' capture of Portsmouth left-back Gregory Vignal has fueled talk they're ready to cash in on 22 year-old Assou-Ekotto and French sources say Arsenal, Bolton and Tottenham have all posted scouts in recent months to run the rule over the defender.