'It's going to be difficult' - Bolton boss makes Brentford midfielder admission that could alert Championship-bound Portsmouth

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Bolton’s promotion pain could prove to be Pompey’s gain!

That’s after Wanderers boss Ian Evatt admitted any hope the beaten League One play-off finalists had of landing on-loan midfielder Paris Maghoma on a permanent deal this summer will have disappeared alongside their recent Championship ambitions.

The 23-year-old Brentford ace had been one of Bolton’s stand-out performers this season as he helped them finish third in the table behind Pompey and Derby. His energy and dynamism in midfield made him an impressive performer at League One level, with the former England Under-21 international certainly catching the eye when the Blues drew with Wanderers in the north west back in April.

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That was one of 40 league appearances Maghoma made for Bolton in 2023-24 - a tally that was also accompanied by eight goals and five assists. 

He’s a player who would certainly fit in nicely at Pompey as John Mousinho plans for their return to the Championship, with his name being mentioned in despatches. The Bolton News report that the player will likely be made available by the Bees this summer, with just one year remaining on his existing deal. And in a further boost to any potential Blues interest, they also have Evatt on record as saying any hopes the Trotters had on signing Maghoma will have been hit by their failure to win promotion out of League One.

‘It is going to be difficult to sign Paris now we are stuck in League One,’ said Evatt. “That is how it is. We are thankful for him, thankful for what he has achieved this season, and we wish him well.’

Maghoma joins Nathanael Ogbeta, Zac Ashworth, Caleb Taylor and Calvin Ramsay in returning to their parent clubs after spells at Wanderers this season. But they’re not the only players the club is saying goodbye to after they published their retained list.

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Indeed, Bolton have announced that experienced front man Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Cameron Jerome will also be leaving, upon the expiry of their contracts. Meanwhile, defender Declan John is also set to depart. In total nine players are being released by Wanderers - six of whom are members of their B team.

Pompey have confirmed 10 players will leave Fratton Park this summer - a number that could rise to 12 if discussions with Joe Morrell and Zak Swanson don’t prove fruitful. Captain Marlon Pack is expected stay after being offered fresh terms. But, at present, the Blues midfield options ahead of next season would be Tom Lowery, Owen Moxon, Terry Devlin and Ben Stevenson.

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