Big Sam confident of Okocha stay
By Steve Luckings
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The African midfielder enjoyed a purple patch towards the tail end of the season, chipping in with some vital goals to ensure the Wanderers staved off relegation.
The former Paris Saint Germain star's heroics are sure to alert a number of clubs across Europe but Allardyce told the Trotters' official website he believes Okocha will follow French ace Youri Djorkaeff's steps and commit himself to moving the club forward.
"The players are always up for grabs by other clubs if they have proved themselves in The Premiership," said Allardyce.
"We always have to live with the situation that they might be stolen.
"All we hope is that when they have been with us they decide we are first port of call in terms of wanting to stay.
"We managed to do that last year with Youri quite successfully. He has given us a more creditable name throughout Europe and throughout The Premiership."
The Lancashire club have made somewhat of a habit of getting in players on short-term contracts to do a particular job over the last couple of seasons but Allardyce admits the scenario is less than ideal but vital if the club are to secure the players to help them stay in the top-flight.
"It is never the ideal way. But it is a short-term fix that has to continue for at least one more season," he added.
Okocha is not the only player Allardyce hopes to keep on his book as he is set for talks with chairman Phil Gartside to discuss the future of loan players Ivan Campo, Bernard Mendy, Florent Laville, Pierre-Yves Andre and Salva Ballesta this week.
Certainly Campo, Mendy and Laville could be in the club's thinking for more permanent deals with captain Gudni Bergsson retiring from football.