Melki Could Be Okocha Replacement

Last updated : 04 January 2004 By Mark Heys
Tunisian World Cup ace Mourad Melki is the latest name to be linked with a move to Bolton Wanderers after a tabloid newspaper claimed the 28-year old was in Bolton for talks over a cut price move.

Melki, who plays for Tunisian champions Esperance De Tunis is seen as an ideal replacement for Jay-Jay Okocha who is on African Nations Cup duty later in the month and has still yet to sign a new deal in Lancashire.

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has a midfielder high on his wanted list during the January transfer window, Melki is just the latest of a flurry of names linked to the club since the month started, which was to be expected. However two players who don't look to be heading to the Reebok Stadium now are Manchester City's Eyal Berkovic, who looks set to complete a move to Portsmouth and Egyptian Ahmed Hassan who is now staying with Besiktas as their chairman Serdar Birgili didn't want to take up the option of bringing in Mario Jardel in an exchange deal from Bolton.

Besiktas are in the hunt for a striker and Jardel was offered to them in Wanderers attempts to land Hassan, however the chairman of the Turkish club has rejected the second offer outright saying Jardel is not the player that Besiktas desire.

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