Bolton are in the frame to offer Joey Barton a lifeline when he is released from prison.
But the Wanderers are in competition with other Premier League clubs also ready to offer a season-long loan deal.
Ex-City ace Barton jailed for six months in May for assault is reputed to have been told to accept a 50 per cent pay cut to stay at Newcastle when he is released.
Wanderers' boss Gary Megson has been linked with a shock move although such a deal could alienate large sections of Bolton's supporters.
Barton has rejected the wage cut and might welcome a return to the North-West.
The player's future, however, remains in jeopardy with a court case pending into an alleged assault on former Blues' team-mate, Ousmane Dabo.
Barton's agent Willie McKay told MEN Sport: "Joey won't be taking a pay-cut. I hope he soon gets his football career back on track with Newcastle."