WANDERERS will hold key talks today in an effort to identify their number one choice to succeed Keith Hill as manager.

The club has already made its opening gambit with a handful of candidates and know what it will cost to bring them to the University of Bolton Stadium.

And though the club has not confirmed that official interviews will take place, it is understood that they will have a much clearer picture of who their next manager will be in the next few days.

Barrow boss Ian Evatt and Plymouth Argyle's Ryan Lowe appear to have an edge on their competition have been heavily backed by fans with the bookmakers.

Wanderers know they will have to fork out a six-figure fee to wrestle Lowe and his right-hand-man Steven Schumacher away from Home Park, where he has two years left to run on his contract.

Evatt also has two more seasons on his deal with Barrow and it is understood it will take around £120,000 to buy him out of the recently-promoted club.

Similar fees would be needed to bring Dean Holden in from Bristol City, Sam Ricketts from Shrewsbury Town, Sol Campbell from Southend United or Kevin Nolan from West Ham United.

The Bolton News:

After completing their homework over the last fortnight, chief operating officer Andy Gartside and head of football operations Tobias Phoenix will now discuss their next move with the club's owners, Football Ventures, who will be footing the bill if they decide to approach a manager already in a job.

Several free agents have put their hat into the ring including Gary Bowyer, Chris Powell, Steven Reid and Simon Grayson - and club legend David Lee has also voiced his desire to get the top job after working in the academy since 2008.

In what is expected to be a busy week at Wanderers, the retained list of players is also due to be released.

There are 15 players with experience of senior football out of contract at the end of this month and it is expected that most will be released as the club look to rebuild in League Two next season.

One, midfielder Jacob Mellis, has been linked with a move to Scotland with Hamilton Academicals.