Trotters close on Tudor
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Juventus are expecting Igor Tudor to belatedly join Bolton on a season-long loan.Juventus are expecting Igor Tudor to belatedly join Bolton Wanderers on a season-long loan deal.
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce has been a long-term admirer of the Croatia international and has spent the bulk of the summer chasing Tudor.
In early July, Allardyce feared a move for the defender was doomed to failure as he could not meet Tudor's demands.
But the interest has been resurrected and a loan deal has now been arranged by The Trotters, who face competition from Villarreal for the 27-year-old.
Juventus have confirmed the offers from both clubs and, while Tudor appears to prefer a move to Spain, the Italian champions believe he will head to The Reebok Stadium.
"For Tudor I have an agreement with the English club Bolton Wanderers," said Juve general manager Luciano Moggi.
"But the player prefers the offer he has from Villarreal.
"Personally, I believe he will eventually join Bolton."
Tudor, who can also play in midfield, has been waiting to leave Juventus after learning he does not figure in Fabio Capello's plans for the new season.
He spent six months on loan at Siena last term and, with a contract running until 2007, was initially valued at é¼5 million (£3.4 million) by Juve.
But with Tudor's suitors reluctant to shell out that sum, Juve are now prepared to loan him out, with a move to Italian rivals Lazio mooted only last week.
It now appears to be a straight fight between Villarreal and Bolton, with Juve believing Tudor will finally move to The Premiership, having been linked with Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion in the past.