IAN Evatt has warned any club looking to prise away his key players this summer that they will not be allowed to leave on the cheap!

Ricardo Santos and Dapo Afolayan have both attracted attention from the Championship but the Bolton boss insists he will have the deciding vote on anyone who moves on before the start of next season.

With two games remaining – the first of which is on Saturday at Cheltenham Town – and a top 10 spot the target, Evatt has already started planning to strengthen his squad for a promotion tilt next term.

But the Bolton boss says his recruitment is not contingent on any incoming funds from sales – Santos, Afoalyan or otherwise.

“We don’t have to sell – and it doesn’t matter how much money clubs come to offer us, I will make the decision based on what is best for Bolton Wanderers,” he told The Bolton News. “I am under no pressure from Sharon or the board to sell players to get money back in. We don’t need it and we’re in a great financial position now, that pressure has gone away.

“But anyone who says that some players don’t have a price knows it is nonsense. Everyone has a price and it that tipping point or trade off when you look at the player we want and then what we can do with the club in general, not just the team, there would be a point where it evens out and we would have to make a call.

“For now, though, we want to keep all of our assets on the pitch. We have improved them, whether it is Rico or Dapo.

“Dapo was in West Ham’s Under-23s and couldn’t really get an opportunity. Rico has admitted himself he was playing for Barnet and probably two weeks away from becoming an Amazon driver, look how his world has changed?

“We appreciate everything those players have done for us and of course there will be clubs interested in signing them. But what I will say is that the grass is not always greener.

“It is also what this club, the staff and this fanbase have done for the players as well, so it is a trade-off.

“We will do what we can within our means to keep hold of those players but if we get offered stupid money and we can do amazing things with it, not just with the team but the whole club, then we may look at it. But I stress, whoever that is must have deep pockets because Sharon and the board have put us in an amazing position. We’re under no pressure to sell anybody.”

Santos is looking to sit down with the club about a new deal this summer, while Afolayan told the local press yesterday that he is looking forward to going “one step further” with Wanderers next season.

Evatt has seen no indication that either player is seeking to move on but concedes that there will be clubs looking to tempt them.

“They are happy here and how can you not be? This is a brilliant football club and we have had a lot of success together in a short space of time,” he said.

“They were here last season and have seen how the club is evolving. They can achieve what they want to achieve in their own careers here. And that is one of the reasons why I came here in the first place.

“Bolton isn’t a stepping-stone, it is a club you grow with and get to the highest level you can.

“They are in a great place, they enjoy it, and they know that.

“Obviously there will be other teams who watch them and want to take them but that just means we are doing the right things as managers and coaches. We want people to look at our players and be envious. Long may that continue and whoever comes knocking, I hope they have deep pockets.”