SWINDON boss Richie Wellens is “surprised” that Wanderers have not unveiled Eoin Doyle as a new signing after admitting defeat in trying to keep hold of the Irish striker.

Despite offering him an improved contract to stay at the County Ground after promotion to League One, Bolton are understood to have agreed a deal which could extend to three years with the 32-year-old.

Doyle scored 23 goals in 23 games for Swindon after moving from Bradford, initially on loan.

Wellens wished the striker well and admitted the offer from Wanderers would have been difficult to turn down.

"The money Bolton are throwing around for a player of his age, and a three-year deal at that, we couldn't get to that," Wellens told BBC Radio Wiltshire.

"I believe Doyley's had a medical at Bolton, In fact, I'm surprised they've not released it yet.

"We're moving up a level and it looks like a parting of the ways. And we wish him well. He's been fantastic for this club. He's done great for us, just as we've done great for him. He suited the way we played.

"But, when you get to Eoin's age and a three-year deal is put in your lap, it's very hard to turn down. The last time he played in League One, he got relegated."

Wellens - who was among the bookies' favourites during Wanderers' hunt for a new boss - also aimed a broadside at the club for paying out money to bring in their top target, Ian Evatt.

“How are they furloughing the players, not paying the bills, and then paying compensation for the manager?"