It’s been a long time in coming but Josh Vela is finally starting to attract admirers from elsewhere once again.
According to The Mail, Premier League giants Liverpool made a £1 million offer for a then 17-year-old Vela during his formative years at Bolton Wanderers – only for the Lancashire side to turn the bid down.
But the report added in February 2015 that Liverpool had been again impressed by the versatile Vela during an FA Cup clash between the two sides. Little came of the speculation, however, and he remains a Bolton player almost two years on.
But how much longer remains to be seen. Vela has only 18 months left on his contract, seemingly giving encouragement to Championship trio Leeds United, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as Premier League Brighton, The Mail reports.
The combative midfielder has been a rare bright spark in a difficult first season back in the Championship for Bolton. But with Phil Parkinson’s side in a precarious financial position, Wanderers may have no choice but to cash in.
And you can see why Vela is on Leeds’ radar, the now 23-year-old a tenacious and hard-working presence that could provide some steely protection to a backline that has been left all-too exposed in the last few months.
After dropping down as far as League One with his first and only professional club as recently as 2016/17, it appears that Vela’s career is on the up again.
It may be a while before Liverpool are linked but a move to Leeds would be a step towards fulfilling that once frightening potential.