Steve Cooper’s side launched as many as three bids for the 23-year-old during the January transfer window, with the Chertsey-born man and Jed Wallace seemingly at the top of their target list at that point.
However, their attempts to get a deal over the line were to no avail as the Seasiders stood strong amid interest from the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Fulham and Forest.
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It was previously unclear whether those three sides would retain their interest with the trio managing to secure returns to the top flight at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
However, it was reported towards the latter stages of last month that the Cherries were plotting another move for the former Everton man and were set to try their luck with a £1m offer, with the 23-year-old’s contract at Bloomfield Road expiring next summer.
Although they look set to land Marcus Tavernier, they could now have competition from Forest to land Bowler with the player waiting on the Reds to launch an approach before he comes to a decision on his future.
Nixon has also revealed the player wants to be competing in the top flight despite interest from teams in the second tier, potentially providing Forest and Bournemouth with a boost in their quest to land him and Blackburn Rovers with a major blow.
Although other sides in the second tier that may be interested in him will probably have a better chance of winning promotion at the end of this term, nothing is guaranteed and this is why you can understand the 23-year-old wanting a move to the top tier if he is to leave Bloomfield Road.
This season, he could stand out as one of the Seasiders’ best performances once again like he did yesterday against Reading before potentially having plenty of options to choose from next summer when his contract expires.
In Lancashire, he knows he’s guaranteed a starting place and this is why it may be wise for him to stay put just for now unless a team like Bournemouth or Forest decide to make a move for him.
It would be interesting to see where he would fit in Cooper’s plans if he was to arrive at the City Ground – because there’s every chance the Welshman will stick with a 3-4-1-2 system and that will provide a problem for Bowler who is arguably best suited to an advanced wing role.
In fairness though, Forest switched formations a few times throughout the 2021/22 campaign and this will give him real hope that he can be involved regularly if he impresses in training.