Wanderers have offered Carlos Sanchez a take-it or leave-it deal to anchor their midfield this season.
The highly-rated Colombia international has finally met with the club after flying in at the weekend but, with Owen Coyle desperate to land a ball-winner, he will not be given time to dwell on whether he wants to play at the Reebok.
Wanderers’ courtship of the 26-year-old has been a frustrating one and several missed meetings and flights have stretched patience to the limit within the club’s hierarchy.
But common consensus is that the former Valenciennes man will prove worth the chase and, while there is also reported interest from West Ham, Coyle rarely loses out on a target after meeting with him at close quarters.
Speaking after Saturday’s desperately disappointing 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth, the Whites boss admitted his midfield needed an enforcer to replace Nigel Reo-Coker.
“There might be some merit in that,” he told The Bolton News . “We lost two goals on the counter attack which we might not have lost had we had a more defensive type.
“We’ve always been in the market for that type of player and if the right one becomes available then we will certainly have a look at it.
“Can we get one by the start of the season? Well, we'll certainly be trying to.”
Coyle will give David Ngog a week to see how his back injury responds to treatment, which means the Frenchman is unlikely to play against Tranmere Rovers in Wanderers’ penultimate friendly tomorrow night.
Ngog was taken off after just 23 minutes of the Portsmouth defeat but Coyle insists he has no worries over his striker’s long-term fitness.
“David has thrown his back again, which is not ideal,” he said.
“He looked terrific the other night at Morecambe but we only wanted to give him another 45 minutes. When he felt his back again, we couldn’t take any chances.”
Benik Afobe should get more game time after an encouraging second-half display at Fratton Park but Marvin Sordell, who bowed out with Team GB in the Olympic football tournament on Saturday night, should link up with the squad later in the week.