Bolton Wanderers face mounting competition for Lukas Jutkiewicz from Derby, Wigan, Blackburn and Wolves
WANDERERS face missing out on fans’ favourite Lukas Jutkiewicz unless they act quickly.
Sources close to the player claim promotion-chasing Derby County have now matched Middlesbrough’s £1million asking price for the striker – and local rivals Wigan Athletic are prepared to follow suit in the next 24 hours.
Wolves and Blackburn Rovers have also registered their interest, but despite the competition, it is understood Jutkiewicz would prefer a move to Bolton, where he was a smash hit on loan last season.
Dougie Freedman has confirmed his interest in the 25-year-old but the Whites have struggled to come up with the cash this summer.
That could change if reported interest from Burnley materialises in a bid.
But the reailty if that they could now miss out on Jutkiewicz if Steve McClaren’s Derby get their man.
McClaren is understood to see Jutkiewicz as the missing piece of a squad that has been carefully assembled over the last four years and just missed out on promotion via the play-offs last season.
There has been mounting worry among Wanderers fans that the lack of a proven goalscorer could see them miss out on the top six again next term.
But Jutkiewicz proved in his four-month stay that he suits Freedman’s system – scoring seven goals in 21 appearances for the club.
Freedman also wants to bring back Joe Mason from Cardiff City but is focusing first on trying to head his Championship rivals off for the highly-rated Jutkiewicz who he rescued from the subs’ bench at the Riverside last season.
Wanderers go into the new season with Jermaine Beckford as the only recognised front man.
Marvin Sordell is not likely to feature regularly under Freedman and last season’s goal-getters have now returned to their parent clubs.