Trotters snap up Mario
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
BOLTON have signed Metz midfielder Mario Espartero on loan until the end of the season.
The Premiership strugglers have moved for the highly-rated 24-year-old in a bid to boost their squad as they battle to avoid a return to the First Division.
Espartero had attracted the interest of a number of top clubs including Newcastle and Milan and he had trials at Rangers and Blackburn Rovers.
The player's agent Willie McKay revealed to Planetfootball that Bolton had agreed a deal with Metz to take Espartero on loan for the rest of the season with the option of buying him permanently at the end of his spell at The Reebok Stadium.
The deal also includes a clause which allows any other side to buy Espartero at any time during his loan spell should they meet Metz's £1.5 million valuation of the player, but Bolton have first refusal to sign him.
"Mario has signed today (Thursday) for Bolton on loan until the end of the season," McKay told planetfootball.com.
"There is a clause in the deal which allows any other club to sign him for £1.5 million if they reach agreement with Metz, but Bolton have an exclusive option to make the signing permanent.
The Monte Carlo based agent also admitted that Espartero was looking forward to proving his worth in England after earning himself a reputation of being somewhat troublesome in France.
"Mario wants to prove himself on the pitch and he plans to do his talking on the pitch," said McKay.
Espartero is set to make his Trotters debut this weekend when they travel to St Mary's to tackle Southampton in a vital relegation clash.