Chairman Ken Anderson is reportedly keen on Northampton Town boss Chris Wilder, who secured his side's promotion to League One on the same day the Trotters' relegation was confirmed.
The tabloid claims Wilder will cost £50,000 in compensation.
Bolton have been without a manager since relieving Neil Lennon of his duties, following a wretched campaign in which the future of the Lancashire club became seriously threatened.
A successful takeover by Anderson's Inner Circle and Dean Holdsworth's Sports Shield last month has kept the Trotters in business, but it came too late to prevent their slide into the third tier.
Southend United manager Phil Brown and former Bolton player Kevin Nolan, who was recently stripped of his managerial duties at Leyton Orient, had been heavily linked with the post, but Wilder is now at evens with the bookies.
The 48-year-old led Oxford United back into the Football League seven years ago, and led Northampton to promotion this season despite severe financial constraints.