Bolton Wanderers are one of a number of League One and League Two sides monitoring the progress of AFC Fylde striker Kurt Willoughby, a report from The Bolton News has claimed.
Willoughby joined National League outfit Fylde last summer from FC United of Manchester after netting 17 goals in 39 appearances for the latter in the National League North the season before, but has so far scored just twice in 19 league appearances for The Coasters, who were 23rd in the fifth tier standings when the season was cancelled last month.
Despite that, it seems Willoughby is attracting attention from a number of clubs further up the pyramid, with the latest reports claiming that Bolton have regularly monitored the 22-year-old this season, and are waiting to see how the resolution of the National League season might impact Willoughby’s situation.
Bolton themselves look set to suffer relegation this season, with the club currently bottom of the League One standings, 21 points from safety following their 12-point deduction at the start of the campaign.
There is still a year remaining on Willoughby’s contract with Fylde, which could complicate things for Wanderers, whose current transfer embargo means they cannot pay transfer fees for players.
If Bolton were to secure a deal for Willoughby however, it would not be the first time they have recruited from non-league in recent months, with striker Muhammadu Faal and midfielder George Thomason from Enfield and Longridge Town respectively during the January transfer window.
As well as Bolton, it is also thought that League Two outfit Salford City are one of the clubs who are taking an interest in the England ‘C’ international.
This is an interesting one.
On the one hand, Willoughby’s record at National League level is not exactly convincing for a striker, meaning you wonder if he would be capable of making the step up to Football League level in the near future.
However, that could also mean he is available for a somewhat cheaper price, particularly if Fylde are relegated, meaning that, with the financial impact of the current situation starting to have an effect on clubs, this may be the sort of deal sides such as Bolton will be forced to look into, as they aim to field a side to keep the club playing beyond the end of this season.