WANDERERS have admitted defeat in the race to sign Marlon Fossey this summer.

The Bolton News understands that the Fulham wing-back has at least two offers to play football in the Championship next season, and that Ian Evatt has now moved on in his search for a new right wingback.

Fossey became hot property after a successful 15-game spell on loan at the UniBol last season, and though his time was cut short by a knee injury his stats alerted plenty of interest in the division above.

Back in January Bolton had arranged an informal deal with Fulham to sign him on a permanent basis but with bigger offers already being made for the 23-year-old and the situation dragging on towards the start of pre-season, Evatt has taken the decision to look elsewhere.

Concerns had been raised over the player’s injury record, although sources close to Fossey insist he has returned stronger than ever after minor surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee in March.

Nevertheless, many Wanderers fans had clamoured for the US-born defender to return, and last week’s news that one of his suitors, Preston North End, had switched target to Republic of Ireland international, Cyrus Christie, looked like a step in the right direction.

The lack of progress in recent weeks had become a concern, however, and strong rumours of interest from Wigan Athletic have refused to die down. We have alsolearned that a Midlands-based club have made a strong offer which is being considered by the player and his current employers.

The focus now switches to who Evatt will look to bring in as Fossey’s replacement, and the Wanderers boss may take some heart from the fact his side won five and drew three of the eight games the wingback missed last season.

What alternatives to Marlon Fossey are out there for Wanderers?

Gethin Jones and Kieran Sadlier played effectively as a wingback during that spell but Bolton want to recruit a specialist, even if that means bringing in another player on loan and using their spare cash elsewhere.

Although the going has been slow right across football, Wanderers are working on targets and have not ruled out having some new faces on their pre-season trip to Portugal.

The omens are looking much better on James Trafford returning on loan from Manchester City after he finished his stint with the England Under-21 squad.

The Cumbrian keeper won his first cap for the Young Lions last week and the City goalkeeper staff have been pleased with the progress he made under Evatt last season.

Wanderers are also waiting to see if their interest in ex-Preston North End winger Tom Barkhuizen comes to anything, with the 28-year-old also reportedly on the wanted list at Derby County, whose takeover saga shows little sign of being cleared up.