Gartside gets his man as Clarets agree to Coyle deal

OWEN COYLE is expected to be named the new manager of Bolton Wanderers today after a compensation package in the region of £3.6m was agreed with Burnley last night.

Coyle, a former Bolton playing favourite, has been locked in talks with Trotters chairman Phil Gartside for the past two days after being identified as the club’s No1 target to take over from Gary Megson, who was surprisingly sacked last week.

Scot Coyle, 43, has enjoyed great success in his two-and-a-half years at Turf Moor, leading the club into the top-flight of English football last summer for the first time in 33 years.

Naturally, Clarets chairman Barry Kilby would love to keep his manager on board, but he has been powerless to stop him talking to Bolton as Coyle has a clause in his contract which frees him to talk to any club who offer over £3m in compensation.

Burnley confirmed in a statement last night that contact had indeed been made with Coyle, but insist nothing will be finalised until today at the very least. It read: “Senior Burnley Football Club officials have, on Monday evening, held detailed talks with first team manager Owen Coyle over his future at Turf Moor.

“As a result of these talks over Coyle’s future with his current employers, both parties have decided to take a further 24 hours to digest the information shared before making any further announcement.”

Ex-striker Coyle enjoyed a two-and-a-half year spell at the old Burnden Park back in the mid-1990s under the management of Bruce Rioch.

It has also emerged that Coyle has previously applied for the vacant manager’s post at Bolton when, as manager of St Johnstone, he was shortlisted for the job in October 2007, eventually awarded to Megson.

Gartside, however, was so impressed with Coyle, he recommended him for the Burnley job, which became available a month later.

Gartside is also hoping to agree a compensation package for Coyle’s current assistant at Turf Moor, Sandy Stewart, who is also wanted at The Reebok.