Former Sheffield United star isn't going to Bolton Wanderers and he never was

Phil Jagielka had been training Bolton Wanderers this week prompting talk of him signing for the League One side.

By Chris Holt
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 11:38 am

However, it’s the speculation that subsequently arose that forced Bolton boss Ian Evatt to call off the favour he was doing for ‘Jags’.

Evatt revealed that the 38-year-old who was released by United at the end of the season, had asked if he could train with Bolton to keep hiself fit as he earches for a new club for next season.

That wish was granted, but because many fans felt that Jagielka may now sign for the club, Evatt told Bolton News that the former England international had ‘moved on’.

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Bolton boss Ian Evatt says he had no intention of signing Phil Jagielka. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

“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 said . “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.”

The Bolton manager added: “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.

Phil Jagielka left Sheffield United at the end of the season. Andrew Yates / Sportimage

“We were literally giving him a chance to stay fit and sharp, ready for people who came along that wanted to sign him.”

Jagielka said upon his departure from United for a second time, that he would have liked to have stayed on at Bramall Lane.

“I was hoping to extend my stay for another year,” Jagielka admitted last month on Football Heaven.

“When I found out I wouldn’t be kept on we didn’t have a manager. That’s changed now [with the appointment of Slavisa Jokanović] which is a positive thing for the club, but I knew a couple of weeks ago the journey was going to end and it was an emotional time.”