Owen Coyle agrees to take Bolton job after Burnley give up the fight

• Manager discussed terms of departure with Burnley chairman
• Coyle should be confirmed at Bolton in next 48 hours

Owen Coyle is poised to be confirmed as the new manager of Bolton Wanderers in the next 48 hours. The Scot agreed to move from Burnley to the Reebok Stadium tonight after he spent the evening discussing terms with Barry Kilby, the chairman at Turf Moor. Barring a dramatic about-face on Coyle's part, the switch should be finalised shortly.

Coyle had met Phil Gartside, Bolton's chairman, on Sunday in Scotland – where he was belatedly celebrating the festive period with his mother – to discuss the mooted transfer after receiving reluctant permission to open talks from Kilby.

Burnley said after tonight's discussions that Coyle and Kilby had agreed "to take a further 24 hours to digest the information shared before making any further announcement". It is likely this reflects an ongoing wrangle over compensation.

Burnley were powerless to prevent Coyle's talks with Bolton because a clause inserted in the manager's contract last summer freed him to talk to any rival club prepared to pay more than £3m in compensation for his services, although the precise figure must now be settled. Negotiations centred not solely on the 43-year-old former Bolton striker but also on his Burnley assistant Sandy Stewart, who is now expected to join him at the Reebok. They hope to take charge for the first time for Wednesday's Premier League game away to Arsenal.

Coyle last week briefly deflected attention from Gartside's pursuit by saying he was "privileged to be building something special" at Burnley but he also acknowledged that Bolton would "always have a special place in my heart".

Well aware their manager could command a higher salary and, more importantly, a significantly larger transfer budget at Bolton, Burnley officials began bracing themselves for an approach.

Several in the Turf Moor boardroom knew that Coyle, who spent two and a half years playing for Bolton as a forward under Bruce Rioch's management at Burnden Park during the mid 1990s, applied for the Reebok vacancy created by Sammy Lee's sacking just over two years ago.

Then in charge of St Johnstone, he was shortlisted for a post which went to Gary Megson, who was sacked last week. Gartside had been so impressed by Coyle he recommended him to Burnley when their manager's job became available a month later. Coyle led them to promotion to the Premier League last season.


Louise Taylor

The GuardianTramp

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