WANDERERS have been urged to “get their skates on” in the pursuit of striker Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Former Whites defender Simon Charlton is hoping a deal will be struck soon to bring the powerful front man to Bolton, after liking what he saw of the 25-year-old in a loan spell last season.
Blackburn Rovers are also in the hunt for Jutkiewicz’s signature – valued at £1million – and Charlton expects more competition to emerge before much longer.
“You look around and everyone is in the market for a striker,” he told The Bolton News. “It wouldn’t surprise me if a lower-end Premier League side came in for Jutkiewicz – that’s how good he was for Wanderers.
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that other clubs will come in for him eventually and I remember saying in April that I hoped something could get done quickly.
“It sounds as if things are tight financially so that possibly explains it but like anyone else who has been watching the club recently, I’m willing it to happen.”
Jutkiewicz scored seven goals to finish as Wanderers’ joint top scorer last term despite only linking up with the team in January.
“The Juke” as he has been affectionately dubbed by the fans, is top of many people’s wish list this summer.
And after watching Dougie Freedman land five familiar targets already this summer, Charlton hopes he has the chance to do the same again.
“From everything I have heard about Jutkiewicz, he wants to come to Bolton, and that Middlesbrough are willing to do business, so it looks to be a case of negotiating a contract and getting the thing done,” he said.
“The club have brought in five players already, and they are ones that Dougie Freedman has worked with before, those he knows well. It’s a good start.
“But I can understand why there is a bit of frustration or impatience among the fans because when you are not reading anything in the papers or hearing anything on the radio or TV, you assume it has gone cold.
“Jutkiewicz isn’t a gamble for Bolton. They know exactly what he can do – and he ticks every single box for them at the moment.”
Charlton believes that Jutkiewicz’s presence up front was instrumental in Wanderers’ excellent late-season form.
“I watched about 80 per cent of his games for Bolton and every time the ball went up to him, it stuck,” he said.
“He got in the right areas, he was a handful for every single side that Bolton came up against, and if you ask me he was the main reason that the club pulled things round towards the end.”