Neil Critchley confirms Blackpool stance on Nottingham Forest target

Josh Bowler

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was reluctant to comment on the future of Josh Bowler after a bid from Nottingham Forest was rejected earlier this week.

Bowler has been a vital member of Blackpool’s squad this campaign, featuring in every Championship game so far. However, league rivals Forest are reportedly very keen on signing the 22-year-old this January. Despite this, Critchley  admitted The Tangerines don’t want to sell their star performer this transfer window.

Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Crithcley said: “I’m not going to confirm anything or get involved in speculation, that would be wrong.

“Silly season has started today, hasn’t it?

“You’ve only got to look at how Josh played today to see it didn’t affect him. Because I thought he was terrific.

“He’s been fantastic for us this season so we want to keep him at this football club.”

The winger has been in standout form for The Seasiders this season.

So it is no surprise to see his performances attract interest, with Forest already having a bid rejected this window.

Having started his professional career at QPR, Bowler was signed by Everton in a £4.25m move in 2017.

The winger failed to make a first-team appearance for The Toffees, however enjoyed a successful loan spell with Hull City in the 2019/20 season.

Bowler then joined Blackpool in summer on a free transfer after he was released by the Premier League side.

The youngster is currently working on a one-year contract at Bloomfield Road. However the club do hold an option to extend this deal by 12 months.

Whatever Critchley’s opinion on the matter, it will be interesting to see if Forest return with an improved bid this month.

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Forest star has loan deal agreed

Loan star Djed Spence will be staying at Forest for the remainder of the season.

Spence, 21, was rumoured to be returning to parent club Middlesbrough this month under new boss Chris Wilder.

However, a deal has been agreed to keep the defender at The City Ground until the end of the season.

Spence has been heavily involved in the Forest starting line-up throughout this campaign.

Boss Steve Cooper will be pleased he can now keep the youngster as they continue their pursuit of promotion.

READ MORE: Nottingham Forest expect to sign experienced defender ahead of league rivals