Sanchez and Afobe set to join Wanderers by weekend
Wanderers are close to wrapping up the double signing of Carlos Sanchez and Benik Afobe and could have both in the squad to face Portsmouth this weekend.
Colombia international Sanchez flew in yesterday to discuss a three-year deal at the Reebok and the club are hoping to finalise talks and complete a medical over the next 24 hours, despite reports of last-minute interest from Sam Allardyce's West Ham.
The process has been drawn-out and confusing – at one point Wanderers had walked away after the player and his representatives missed a scheduled meeting.
But bridges have been mended in the last fortnight, and with Owen Coyle keen to add the powerhouse midfielder to his ranks, the club resurrected the transfer.
The 26-year-old, formerly with French club Valenciennes, has 25 caps and has already rejected a move to the Premier League with Reading. It is reported he also had offers in Italy and Spain.
Talks have also been ongoing with Arsenal about England youth international striker Afobe, who is expected to link up with the squad for the first time when they travel down to Fratton Park for Saturday’s friendly.
The 19-year-old has already had loan spells away from the Emirates at Huddersfield Town and Reading and impressed on the Gunners' pre-season tour of East Asia.
His scoring record in the youth ranks at Arsenal has seen him gain a big reputation but problems with a groin injury in the last 12 months have somewhat checked his progress.
He now hopes that a season-long loan under Coyle at the Reebok could have a similar springboard effect enjoyed by team-mate Jack Wilshere and Chelsea star Daniel Sturridge, although his parent club will have the final say on the length of his stay.
Once Sanchez and Afobe are sworn in, then that would all-but complete Owen Coyle's recruitment plans ahead of the season kick-off at Burnley.
It does not, however, preclude any further arrivals and it is understood the manager could yet be in the market for more defensive cover if the right name becomes available.
Loans are also an option, with Gunners winger Ryo Miyaichi keen to make a return to the Reebok.