Whites target top class keeper

Marc Iles

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OWEN Coyle reckons he is in the hunt for a goalkeeper who will put immediate pressure on Adam Bogdan for Wanderers’ number one slot.

Leeds United stopper Andy Lonergan is understood to be top of a shortlist of four candidates earmarked by Coyle this summer, and one bid for the 28-year-old has already been turned down by the Yorkshire club.

A fresh move is expected now that Leeds have completed the £400,000 signing of Paddy Kenny – but Coyle insists he has other irons in the fire should their valuation prove too high.

Even though Bogdan was voted player of the year last season, the Wanderers boss is keen to see the Hungary international given more competition now that Jussi Jaaskelainen has left the club to join West Ham.

“Whoever comes in has to be at a position to challenge Adam right away,” he told The Bolton News. “I don’t want a number two goalkeeper, or a back-up, I want someone who can put pressure on Adam, and he knows that.

“Adam has really evolved and his performances for us and for Hungary last season prove that.

“But he has got the potential to be even better and he needs someone to be pushing him all the way to be the player he can be.”

Coyle has confirmed that Lonergan is in his thinking after crossing paths with the Lancastrian keeper during his last spell outside the Premier League.

“There are a number of goalkeepers that have been in the frame, and Andy is one that has been mentioned,” he said.

“He’s a goalkeeper I’ve known about for many years and he played against my Burnley team for Preston in a season that he was probably the outstanding keeper in the whole Championship.

“There was a lot of interest from Everton at the time, I’m led to believe, so I know all about him but there are three or four others out there at the moment, so we’ll see what the next couple of weeks brings.”

Coyle is also hoping a challenge will come from within the club’s ranks, as both Rob Lainton and Jay Lynch continue their recent progress.

Both youngsters were given squad numbers last week and either could potentially be loaned out this term to gain all-important first team experience.

“We have two terrific young goalkeepers – Rob Lainton, who had a terrible time with injuries last year and Jay Lynch, who really has outstanding potential,” Coyle explained.

“It’s about getting something in between the two. I need someone who knows the Championship but also has the quality to succeed at Bolton Wanderers.”

Jaaskelainen’s departure after 15 years means that the Whites are on the hunt for a goalkeeper for the first time since Bogdan’s arrival under Sammy Lee’s tenure five years ago.

Coyle insists there are no hard feelings with the veteran Finn, who chose to leave the club after losing his first team place and being offered a route back into the top flight by his old boss Sam Allardyce.

“Jussi was someone who I’ve got a lot of time for and someone who has been an outstanding goalkeeper for Bolton Wanderers,” he said.

“But he found himself out of the team last season when Adam came in, and I thought Adam was terrific.

“It’s up to other people to understand the reasons why he left – but I know Adam is an outstanding goalkeeper and has a very, very bright future.”