Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest battling it out for deadline day signature of Blackpool winger Josh Bowler

Nottingham Forest are edging closer to matching Blackpool's asking price for Josh Bowler, The Gazette understands.

By Matt Scrafton
Monday, 31st January 2022, 5:40 pm
Updated Monday, 31st January 2022, 8:16 pm

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However, it's understood there's a growing feeling at the City Ground that they could be beaten to Bowler's signature by Championship rivals Bournemouth.

It was thought that Steve Cooper's side had moved on to other targets having been frustrated in their attempts to sign Bowler so far this window.

But with under six hours to go until tonight's 11pm deadline, it's understood both Forest and Bournemouth remain in hot pursuit.

Sources have told The Gazette that Forest are now creeping closer to matching Blackpool' s valuation, which at this time remains unknown.

But since that news was publicised at around 5pm, sources have told us Bournemouth have stepped up their interest.

It emerged over the weekend that both Fulham were also reportedly interested in the 22-year-old's services, but that speculation has since died down.

Bowler scored Blackpool's goal during their draw against Fulham at the weekend

Ironically, Bowler scored Blackpool’s goal against Fulham on Saturday during their 1-1 draw- the second time he has scored against the Cottagers this season.

When asked if he’s confident of Bowler remaining a Blackpool player after the window has closed, Critchley said on Saturday: “I hope so.

“I thought he was outstanding on Saturday. You could tell they had a lot of respect for him when he had the ball.

“He nearly scored in the first half when he hit the crossbar, it was a good finish for the goal and he’s been brilliant for us.

“He’s scored two goals against Fulham, so let’s see what happens in the next 48 hours.

“He’s our player and I’m delighted to have him because he’s been fantastic for us, but we know how good he is and his worth, so let’s see.

“We want to be a club that gives young players an opportunity, develops them and if then, they have an opportunity to move on and that’s right for them and the football club, then we want to be that football club that is developing players and giving them the opportunity to further their career.

“That’s not me pushing him out of the door, because I’m delighted we’ve got him and he’s been brilliant for us.

“If he stays at 11pm on Monday night, then we’ll all be delighted obviously.”

Bowler signed a one-year deal with the Seasiders last summer, but the club holds an option to extend by 12 months.

Should Bowler depart, Manchester City winger Morgan Rogers is a player that could come in as a replacement.

Rogers, who featured against Blackpool in the League One play-off final last season for Lincoln City, has made 17 appearances for the Cherries and scored once.

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