Bolton Wanderers may sell top players such as Gary Cahill in January as the Premier League soccer team seeks to balance its books after annual losses more than doubled to 35.4 million pounds ($57 million).
Chairman Phil Gartside said defender Cahill may be sold in the “transfer window” if the club receives an offer in excess of 15 million pounds for the England national team player. Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked to the 24-year-old by U.K. media.
“If a Champions League team knocks on our door in January that’s the best time to sell an asset because Champions League teams will pay the money,” Gartside said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Bolton, which has been in English soccer’s top league for a decade, is trying to wean itself away from relying on financing from owner Edwin Davies, who is owed the bulk of the club’s 87.5 million pounds in net debt. That requires being shrewd when it comes to player trading, Gartside said.
The team, which is sixth in the league after 12 games, is aiming to offload older players and find younger replacements with better resale value as well as trim its roster.
“We are carrying too many on the wage bill,” Gartside said. “To be fair, nine players are out of contract in the summer, within them heavy earners, and we’ll decide if we want to offer them new contracts.”
Among those is this season’s top scorer Johan Elmander. The 29-year-old Swede, Bolton’s record 8.2 million-pound signing in 2008, may go at the end of the campaign, although he could be offered a new deal.
“He’s out of contract at the end of this season and again if someone knocks on the door in January then that’s obviously a consideration we have to make,” Gartside said.
Bolton said in a filing that its loss in the year to June 30 widened from 13.4 million pounds in the previous year on restructuring costs and increased investment in its playing squad.