THERE was still no sign of white smoke at the University of Bolton Stadium last night as Wanderers continue to haggle with Barrow over compensation for manager Ian Evatt.

The newly-promoted Bluebirds fired out a warning earlier this week that they were not going to let Evatt leave without a fight.

And they have vowed to make sure Wanderers pay every penny of a six-figure “golden handcuffs” clause in his contract up front.

Bolton had made the 38-year-old their number one managerial target but are understood to be at odds with Barrow over the structure of the payments, which are also higher than they had first been led to believe.

Sources close to Evatt insisted the deal had not veered off course and that an arrangement on compensation could still be struck quickly. They also deny that the £250,000 figure put out by the Barrow press is correct.

But at Bolton – who had hoped to appoint a new boss before the weekend – the mood was more circumspect. The club has declined to comment publicly on their manager search, or any other aspect of their plans for next season.

It is known, however that Wanderers held interviews with several alternative candidates to ensure they had a ‘Plan B’ and could choose to go that way if Barrow refuse to budge in their demands.

Meanwhile, a report from the Football Association has confirmed that Wanderers were the only club in the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two or National League to pay nothing to agents or intermediaries between February 2019 and the end of January 2020.