Bolton Wanderers have explained their decision to reject former Everton captain Phil Jagielka after he asked to train with the League One club.
Reports in recent days have linked the ex-Blues defender with a move to the Trotters, with the 38-year-old currently a free agent after leaving Sheffield United at the end of last season.
Jagielka spent 12 years at Goodison Park before calling time on his stint on Merseyside in 2019, and is looking for a fresh challenge.
Bolton had been suggested as a potential destination after reports linked him with a move to the Lancashire club.
However, manager Ian Evatt has explained why the club took the decision not to let Jagielka train with them, after initially giving it the go ahead.
Evatt is quoted telling the Manchester Evening News: “Jags asked me if he could come in pre-season and it was a yes, because I always like to help out good, experienced pros to try and stay in the game. And it would have been just that.
“But then we got the media fanfare, the expectancy that fans seemed to have for signing that sort of player, it’s just no good for anybody.
“It’s certainly no good for the group, who we’re trying to hide from all the distractions and sideshows. We decided to move on.”
Even though Jagielka was linked with a move to Bolton, Evatt insists that had the decision been made to let the defender train with the club it would not have ended up in a permanent deal.
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Evatt said: “It was absolutely only for fitness. He wants to stay in the game, which was great, at 38 having the passion to play is fantastic, but as I said, we have recruited a different demographic of player this summer.
“Everyone can see what we are trying to do and he doesn’t really fit in with what we are trying to do.
“We were literally giving him a chance to stay fit and sharp, ready for people who came along that wanted to sign him.”