Blackpool grant Middlesbrough target Marc Bola permission to discuss move to another club
Simon Grayson has revealed Blackpool have given Marc Bola permission to discuss a move to another club.
The left-back was left out of Blackpool's squad this afternoon for their 2-0 pre-season friendly defeat against Blackburn Rovers.
Following the match, Grayson revealed bids have been accepted for the 21-year-old - one of which is believed to have come from Middlesbrough.
Fellow Championship clubs Brentford and Luton Town have previously been linked with the defender earlier this summer.
The Gazette understands Bola's future is likely to be resolved in the next 24 hours, with Middlesbrough the likely destination.
Yesterday's signing of full-back James Husband on a season-long loan deal from Norwich City led to speculation he would become Bola’s replacement.
Grayson, however, said that was not the case and wanted Husband to provide competition for Bola, who now appears to have set his heart on a move away from Bloomfield Road.
“We agreed a deal with James Husband and Norwich before anything had happened with Marc Bola," Grayson said.
“I wanted competition for places at left back but knowing Marc Bola can play further up the pitch on the left-hand side, knowing full well something could potentially happen.
“As it’s panned out, we’ve given permission for him to speak to a club - or a couple of clubs - to see what happens with his future.
“We’ll see what happens over the weekend but James Husband coming in wasn’t dependent on Marc Bola leaving, it was more about competition for places.
“It’s not just happening at this level, it happens all the right way through Europe when good clubs come in for your players - it’s very difficult for players to down opportunities to maybe play at a higher level.
“There’s so many players we’ve seen leave, just look at Aaron Ramsey go on a free transfer to Juventus. Many other players will do the same.
“We felt the bid we’ve had has been accepted because it’s the right thing for the football club and not anybody else.”
Bola signed for the Seasiders on a free transfer last summer after he was released by Arsenal, where he had been on the books since the age of 13.
It was Gary Bowyer’s decision to bring him to Bloomfield Road after the former Pool boss was impressed by the left-back in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Wigan Athletic, where the defender had been on trial.
Bola, who has previously enjoyed loan spells with Notts County and Bristol Rovers, made 43 appearances for Blackpool last season and was subsequently named the club’s player of the year.
Bola still has a year left on his deal at Bloomfield Road so Middlesbrough would be required to pay a fee.
It’s understood the left back, who has also been linked with Luton Town and Brentford this summer, has been offered a new contract by the club.