Leicester City striker Jermaine Beckford will be a Bolton player by the end of the week (Sky Sports).
The former Leeds front man has reportedly agreed a two year deal at the Reebok after accepting a massive wage cut, part of which involves a partial pay-off from the Foxes to end his contract, which ends in 2015. Negotiations for Beckford, 29, have been carried out for over two months now but a deal looks to be finalised and the the Jamaican international will join up with the Wanderers’ squad next week.
It was initially reported that there was to be a fee of just under £1 million for the striker however more recent reports suggest that the deal will now be a free transfer after Bolton are unable to pay a huge fee and Leicester are desperate to reduce their wage bill. The new Financial Fair Play rulings, starting next month with the new season, mean that Leicester must sell before they can buy and players on larger wages, like Beckford, must leave in order for any new recruits to come in, as City haven’t made a single signing this summer.
Bolton on the other hand have made a number of signings so far this transfer window, including former Blackpool defender Alex Baptiste and full-back Marc Tierney from Premier League side Norwich, all of these players joining up with Dougie Freedman’s squad for pre-season preparations, a squad which Beckford will be relishing to join to get his career back on track. Freedman spoke of his delight at the signing of Beckford during an interview with the BBC: “He’s a proven goalscorer and I think he’ll be very good for this football club.
“”He’s right up my street in terms of what I try and buy. Jermaine has lost that fantastic goalscoring record over the last couple of years and he’s got a point to prove in that way, but he doesn’t need to prove anything to me in terms of his attitude.””
This is something that Leicester boss Nigel Pearson may disagree with, however, after reports of numerous fall outs with the player in the past season. Pearson loaned Beckford out to Huddersfield for the majority of the season amid reports that they had both been involved in a training ground bust-up. Nevertheless, Beckford made 21 appearances for the Terriers, scoring 8 goals in the process.
The ex-Everton man has scored 15 times in 49 appearances for the Foxes, but a clause in his contract means appearing in another game will mean City will have to pay the Merseyside club another £1million, taking his total transfer to Leicester in excess of £4million.
Meanwhile, fellow Leicester striker Martyn Waghorn is on the verge of a move out of the King Power Stadium (Lion of Vienna Suite). The former Sunderland man was loaned to City in 2009, scoring 12 times in 42 appearances. His good form led to a permanent transfer from the Stadium of Light where he has gone on to play a further 68 games. However the former England Under-21 player has fallen down the pecking order with the Foxes behind Chris Wood, David Nugent, Jeff Schlupp and Jamie Vardy, and the 23 year old looks unlikely to be given a chance to prove his worth.
With the Financial Fair Play regulations, Leicester need to get rid of anyone surplus to requirements and with Milwall, Bolton and Wolves all looking to come in for the player, a transfer looks to be on the cards. Whether it will go through however remains to be seen. Waghorn is unlikely to want to drop divisions to Wolves and he has always maintained that he will fight for his place at the club he holds close to his heart. As well as this, City are reluctant to let the forward go cheaply as they look to recoup a lot of the £1.7million spent on him three years ago, and this stance may price a lot of clubs out of the market.
Waghorn scored 3 goals in 28 appearances for City last term, however most of these came off the bench in an indifferent season which saw the front man sit on the sidelines, so first team football may be an incentive for the striker, who scored a second-half goal to clinch a win in a friendly against Leamington last weekend. The future for the South Shields striker remains to be seen.