WANDERERS have made an improved bid to sign Gillingham midfielder Kyle Dempsey.

The Bolton News understands that a six-figure offer has been submitted for the 26-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer at Priestfield.

Wanderers had their first bid rejected out of hand last week but are confident their second offer will be accepted.

Dempsey has been with Gillingham for the past two seasons, becoming club captain as he made 57 appearances in all competitions, scoring nine goals.

He is viewed as the perfect replacement for Antoni Sarcevic, who was allowed to leave the UniBol in October after a fall-out with manager Ian Evatt, joining non-league Stockport County on a free transfer.

Bolton are confident their latest offer will be accepted and could begin official talks with the midfielder next week. But Gillingham are currently without a permanent manager after the departure of Steve Evans, which has slowed the process.

Meanwhile, Wanderers hope to hear positive news on their search for a striker early next week after speaking to his club over the past few days.

The player in question is believed to be an experienced international who has played in major tournaments.

Wanderers host an improving Ipswich Town on Saturday looking to arrest a run of four consecutive defeats.

The Tractor Boys have won their last two games and shown signs of progress under new boss Kieran McKenna, who previously worked in the coaching staff at Manchester United.

Paul Cook had taken the team into the season as the division’s biggest spenders but a poor run of early season form, including a 5-2 home defeat to Bolton, saw him sacked by early December.

Evatt had some sympathy for his former manager, having experienced how difficult it is to settle a squad of new signings last season at Bolton.

“I know Paul well, I know what he’s capable of, I played in one of his teams and was captain for one of his successful teams,” he said of their time at Chesterfield. “He recruited heavily in the summer and as we saw last summer, it is never that easy just to throw so many bodies together at once and get immediate results.

“I was given time and it proved the right decision. He hasn’t been given time and only time will tell whether it was the right or wrong decision.

“For me, managers should always be given time. Football is a sporting event, yes, but it’s also a business, and how many businesses are judged on a day’s sales?

“For everything that I see it is judged on yearly sales and estimations of where they want to be. Football is no different. A full season is something that you definitely need and require in football to implement your ideas and style and I believe that managers should be given longer.”