Ian Evatt has revealed why he had a change of heart on inviting ex-England international Phil Jagielka into Lostock next week.
The Wanderers boss confirmed that the 38-year-old former Sheffield United and Everton defender was offered a chance to train with the club to keep up his fitness.
But, as The Bolton News revealed earlier this week, the club changed its mind after seeing the story spiral out of control on social media – believing Jagielka’s arrival could be a distraction to the players’ pre-season preparations.
“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,” Evatt told us. “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.”
Evatt denied there had ever been a discussion with Jagielka about a contract or even a trial, insisting the offer had simply been to help him in his search for a new club after leaving Bramall Lane at the end of last season.
“It was absolutely only for fitness,” he said. “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.”