Hodgson hot on ice man Elmander
Published 23:00 28/11/10 By Alan Nixon
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is leading the race for Bolton hot shot Johan Elmander – but will have to come up with £5million to buy him.
Hodgson and his No.2 Sammy Lee watched long-term target Elmander at the weekend before dashing off to travel to Tottenham for yesterday’s match.
Elmander turned down a one-year contract extension with Wanderers last week and is keeping his options open with his current deal expiring in the summer.
Hodgson has tried for Elmander twice before during his time at Fulham. He missed out when he came in from Toulouse and made an attempt to land him in his low period at the Reebok last season.
The Kop chief is looking for more options up front and tried and tested Elmander fits the bill well, especially if he sells one of his other forwards in the January window.
Elmander failed to score against Blackpool but his sky-high confidence was evident with a glorious touch in the build-up to the late equaliser.
Bolton do not want to sell Elmander, who is on a stunning £50,000-a-week deal, but a cash offer in the New Year market may be accepted to let Owen Coyle bring in two or three players.
The fee would be within Liverpool’s budget, which could be increased if Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel or David N’Gog find new homes in January as the Anfield manager tries to wheel and deal with his squad.
Elmander is settled in the north west, so a move to Liverpool could appeal to him. But sources close to the Swede say that he wants first-team football if he moves - and that may be an issue.
Hodgson has admitted that he wants cover for Fernando Torres, but he would have to have a place in his side - and not the bench - for Elmander.
There are a handful of foreign clubs looking at Elmander too, with Bolton expecting interest in January but relaxed about how it pans out as they have their own options.