Derry City skipper Eoin Toal expected to seal Bolton Wanderers move

Derry City look set to lose captain Eoin Toal, as the Brandywell club are believed to have accepted Bolton Wanderers improved offer.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Sunday, 17th July 2022, 12:48 pm
Derry City's Eoin Toal may have played his last game for the club. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City's Eoin Toal may have played his last game for the club. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

It's thought that Wanderers, who had an bid rejected last week, have stepped up discussions with the Candy Stripes and it's believed a deal is close to completion.

The 23-year-old isn't expected to feature in tomorrow's North West derby at Finn Harps because of a slight ankle problem, which resulted in him being substituted on 85 minutes in Thursday night's Europa Conference League defeat in Riga.

Toal has been a wanted man for a number of seasons with a host of Scottish and English clubs casting their eye over the centre-back, but the League One side are now in pole position, with the defender travelling to The Trotters early next week for a medical before completing the switch.

Only last week, prior to travelling to Latvia, Derry boss Ruaidhrí Higgins admitted losing the Armagh man would be a big blow for his side.

“Eoin Toal has been an absolutely brilliant servant for this club and he’s only 23," he said.

"He has played a lot of games and I can only speak since I have been here, but he has been fantastic. If he does leave then it would be a huge loss.

“We will need to replace him or we’ll need to adapt or play a different system. Listen when you manage in this league and there’s good young players, then inevitably you are going to lose them.

"You see Darragh Burns away to MK Dons, Danny Mandroiu to Lincoln and there’s talk of other players at different clubs going, so when you’re a manager in this league it’s inevitably if you have got really good young players then there’s going to be interest in them.

“It’s all about trying to adapt and come up with a solution and that’s what we’ll have to try and do if he does go.”

Wanderers manager Ian Evatt also admitted recently that the big centre-back was one of his targets.

“He’s a player that we’re aware of," said the Bolton boss. "We did make a bid, there’s no point denying it, and at the moment that bid wasn’t acceptable. We’ll monitor where that leads to, but there’s no denying it.

"He’s a player we’re aware of, he’s a player we like, he’s a player with good attributes and we think he’ll fit the way we play. We’ll do things smartly and strategically and we value everybody."