Bolton Wanderers swoop for Middlesbrough striker Lukas Jutkiewicz put on hold
WANDERERS will not be rushing into a bid for Lukas Jutkiewicz despite finalising the sale of Marvin Sordell to Burnley yesterday.
It is understood Dougie Freedman will take his side to Denmark on Tuesday with Jermaine Beckford and Craig Davies as his only senior strike options.
Jutkiewicz remains the top name on his summer shopping list but the Whites are desperate not to be drawn into a bidding war with other interested parties and will take their time before setting out their bid for the Middlesbrough star.
Derby County have already submitted one offer to Boro for the 25-year-old and rumours in the Midlands suggest that Wolves have also made their move after shelving long-standing plans to sign Coventry City’s Callum Wilson.
Bournemouth are now hot favourites to sign Wilson for £3million, leaving Kenny Jackett’s side looking to bring in more muscle up front.
Sources close to Jutkiewicz maintain he wants to return to Bolton, where he spent the second half of last season, scoring seven goals.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka praised the striker’s attitude since he returned to the club’s training ground at Rockcliffe Park at the start of the week and hinted he would be involved in their pre-season friendlies.
After selling Marvin Emnes to Swansea, the Boro boss is another man who does not find himself blessed with many attacking options.
But close club sources insist he has not changed his long-term plan to sell Jutkiewicz to the highest bidder this summer.
Karanka admits the former Everton target man has returned a much-improved player after his loan spell with the Whites.
“I am happy because he is training very well, he recovered his confidence at Bolton last season,” said the Spaniard, who was criticised on Teesside for sending Jutkiewicz out on loan as his club struggled for goals.
“Everybody told me ‘Juke is scoring goals in Bolton and we aren’t scoring’ but it was a good decision because he recovered his confidence.
“He’s not a new player, obviously, but I can see the difference on the training pitch, he is scoring goals and he is happy.
“He is my player now and I will always speak well about my players. In the future, you never know, the market will decide, but now he is my player and I am thinking about him as my player.”
Whites fans are desperate to see the striker they dubbed “Juke” return to the club this season but the indications are that they will have to be patient for the short-term at least.
Meanwhile, reports that Stuart Holden is heading back to Wanderers to continue his rehabilitation are wide of the mark.
The Bolton News understands that the American midfielder will continue his recovery from a knee operation in the States for the foreseeable future before returning to the UK.
Wanderers confirmed in midweek that the 28-year-old would be retained next season on non-contract terms but the club are keen to give him time and space to make a complete comeback.