These talks arrive at the perfect time as Bolton nears the end of January's European transfer window. Le Toux already holds a European Union passport, which would make for a seamless acquisition of an English work visa.
Union manager Peter Nowak and assistant John Hackworth offered no official comment on Le Toux's situation. However, the source said the staff did allow Le Toux to take a chance on playing in Europe because "it's not too late to compete at that level for a player of his caliber."
Le Toux does have previous European experience. He played professionally for FC Lorient of the French second division (2004-06) before coming to the United States and making his name with the Seattle Sounders in USL-1. His pedigree makes him the perfect bargaining chip, and, according to the source, Bolton would have to make the Union an offer it couldn't refuse for Philadelphia to declare bon voyage to its offensive spark.
The Union was full of news yesterday, announcing it didn't renew the options of defenders Ryan Richter and Joe Tait, midfielder Morgan Langley and forward Levi Houapeu. Of the four, it appears Houapeu and Richter, the Atlantic 10 player of the year from La Salle, have landed on their feet: Both received trial offers with D.C. United, which opened camp today.
Richter, an All-America forward with the Explorers who had a tough time adjusting to a desired defensive role, told the Daily News yesterday via text that he is "getting the chance to attack" with United and that he's "excited to try and find his way" onto coach Ben Olsen's roster.
Additionally, the loss of Houapeu and Tait frees up a pair of international roster spots.
One has to wonder if there soon will be a connection between the news of Le Toux's potential move and the release of four players, opening the door for the acquisition of a potential giant.
Paunovic calls it quits
The Union announced the retirement of midfielder Veljko Paunovic, ending an 18-year career than spanned five countries. Paunovic, 34, cited personal reasons for his decision. He has dealt with the passing of a few family members in recent months, but it's not known if that is related to his decision.
Paunovic signed with the Union last June and had three goals and three assists in 17 matches.
"I want to thank the great Union family for welcoming me from the very first day that I came here," he said. "I've been so many places around the world and I have never felt as happy as I have been here. It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from soccer due to family reasons but I will never forget the Union fans and the atmosphere at PPL Park every game."