Date: 25th May 2006 at 4:35pm
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Bolton Wanderers have matched Wigan Athletic’s bid of £8.5 million for England stand-by striker Andy Johnson and Crystal Palace have accepted the offer.

Eagles chairman Simon Jordan has now given Johnson permission to speak to both clubs about a possible move.

Palace issued the following statement on the club website: ‘Crystal Palace have accepted another bid for Andrew Johnson, after Bolton Wanderers offered £8.5m (?12.4m) for the player on Thursday. The offer from Sam Allardyce?s side matches the one made on Wednesday by Wigan Athletic, and therefore the 25-year-old now has permission to speak to both Lancashire clubs.’

Everton and Portsmouth have also been linked with the player but so far neither has come up with the required offer.