Jay-Jay Signs New Deal

Last updated : 19 May 2004 By Mark Heys
Bolton Wanderers captain Jay-Jay Okocha has pledged his long term future to the club today by signing a new three year contract ending months of speculation surrounding his future.

The 30-year old Nigerian international has been a leading figure for the Trotters for the last two seasons following his move from Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2002 and Bolton are pleased to have secured the services of the gifted playmaker for the next three seasons.

Okocha has been a popular player in England amongst supporters since his move from France and last year played a leading role in helping the Wanderers survive in the Premiership. He was named as the 2003 Bolton Player of the Year and also finished as the club's joint top goalscorer for the 2002-2003 season. Last summer he was nominated captain following the departure of Gudni Bergsson and has this season helped the club to their best ever finish in the Premiership in a campaign which also featured an outstanding Carling Cup run that was halted by Middlesbrough in the final at the Millennium Stadium in February.

The ex-Eintract Frankfurt and Fenerbache star had been linked with a move to various clubs including the Scottish champions Celtic this year in a contract saga which had been going on since well before Christmas but now an agreement has been reached meaning that the fans favourite will continue his role with the Trotters.

Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce told the club's official site that he was delighted to keep the Super Eagles ace at the club and beleives the player has been a leading figure in the club's recent success in the upper reaches of the Premiership.

"Securing Jay-Jay's services for the next three seasons firmly underlines this football clubs desire to compete in the upper reaches of the Premiership. His performances over the past two seasons have helped to fortify the name and reputation of Bolton Wanderers."

Allardyce was quick to deny some reports which claimed the lucrative contract was worth a staggering £7,500,000 but the Bolton cheif says that these reports are well "wide of the mark".