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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Lee fears Diouf and Anelka exit
Bolton duo El Hadji Diouf (left) and Nicolas Anelka
Diouf and Anelka both want to play Champions League football
Bolton manager Sammy Lee admits he could be powerless to stop El Hadji Diouf and Nicolas Anelka leaving.

Diouf, 26, has said he wants to quit the club to play in the Champions League and fellow striker Anelka, 29, has been linked with Arsenal and Lyon.

"It's a concern and it might be out of my hands but at the moment it is only speculation," said Lee.

"We want to keep our better players but - as I've said before - if people want to go sometimes you can't stop them."

Bolton are bottom of the Premier League after losing all three games so far this season and that dismal start has led to increased speculation that both Diouf and Anelka could leave before the transfer window closes on 31 August.

Diouf claims Tottenham, Celtic, Lyon and two unnamed clubs are interested in signing him.


Anelka is also being linked with a move away from the Reebok Stadium, with Manchester United understood to be monitoring the situation.

The Frenchman has played for seven clubs during his career, while Senegal's Diouf left Liverpool after failing to make an impact at Anfield.

Lee added: "I certainly don't want them to go and certain people have had 'previous' at being at football clubs and wanting to leave.

"It's not just Bolton Wanderers - there is a trend - but obviously we would like to keep our best players."

Diouf joined Bolton after a successful loan spell for an undisclosed fee in 2005, while Anelka has spent only one season with the club after arriving from Fenerbahce for 8m.

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