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Sam Allardyce: "Arsene Wenger begged me...."

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SAM ALLARDYCE has told Bolton he is quitting at the end of the season.Allardyce delivered the shock news to Trotters chairman Phil Gartside and is adamant he will not change his mind.The news will stun Bolton players and fans ahead of their match with Chelsea at 12.45pm today.Big Sam has been in charge at Bolton since October 1999. He has performed miracles on a shoestring budget, turning the club from First Division no-hopers into a Premiership force to be reckoned with.His amazing achievements at the Reebok Stadium even put him on the brink of becoming England boss last year when Sven Goran Eriksson resigned.It is not yet clear exactly why Allardyce has decided to quit.There could well have been a disagreement internally about the future direction of the Lancashire club.Allardyce has been constantly frustrated by the financial restraints put on him despite Wanderers being a top-flight club for six years.Boltonââ¬â¢s board fear Allardyce may have been tapped up by a member of the consortium bidding to take over at Manchester City.A member of the Eastlands board is believed to support the Ray Ranson bid and a move for Allardyce.But I understand Allardyce has told Bolton that is not the case, nor the reason he wants to leave the club he also served as a player.However, the news will certainly alert City, who look set to part company with Stuart Pearce in the summer.Newcastle have also been long-term admirers of Allardyce.Toon manager Glenn Roederââ¬â¢s own future is also far from certain.In Allardyceââ¬â¢s first season in charge, he took the Trotters to the last four of both the League Cup and FA Cup.The following season he took them up in the play-offs and has since made them regular challengers for a European place.

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