JOE Williams’ future at Wanderers is hanging in the balance, with Bristol City poised to sign him on a permanent basis from Everton.

It is understood the Blues midfielder was due to sign at Ashton Gate last week before picking up a thigh tendon injury, which is likely to keep him out until next month.

Bristol City – who host Bolton this Saturday – had a £1million bid accepted by Premier League Everton, who have a clause in his loan contract to recall him early.

But the injury has cast some doubt on the move, and Williams is currently waiting to hear back from his parent club on what they plan to do next.

The combative 22-year-old has been a regular starter for Phil Parkinson this season, playing 19 Championship games.

Wanderers also have the option of matching Bristol City’s bid but their current financial issues make that unlikely in the extreme.

Willliams' absence has given Luke Murphy a chance to earn a regular spot.

"It’s a lift for us to see a player who has trained so well to keep himself in good shape be one of the best players on the day," said the Bolton boss after the weekend victory against Walsall in the FA Cup third round.