Bolton Wanderers are set to miss out on reported transfer target Dan Gore as he nears a move to League One rivals Port Vale.
The 19-year-old has the green light to leave Manchester United on loan despite appearing twice for the first team. A host of clubs have been reported to be eyeing a swoop for the talented teenager, including Ian Evatt’s Trotters. They’re looking to add to their squad as they hunt a return to the Championship after an absence of five seasons.
The promotion race in League One is tight, and fellow hopefuls Blackpool were also thought to be interested in Gore, but it seems that he’s on his way to Vale Park. Along with Fleetwood, Port Vale was one of the lower teams looking to secure his signature, but reports suggest they have now won the race.
The youngster is highly rated at Old Trafford and has featured in their Premier League campaign, debuting against Aston Villa in December. He was also a key member of the Under 18 team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2022 but made headlines for a different reason last season. During a Carrington training session, he was involved in a furious confrontation with Anthony Martial after a particularly tough tackle on the Frenchman. However, Gore received an apology for the reaction.
Gore will join a Vale side looking both up and down the table in a tightly packed division. They’re seven points clear of Reading in the final relegation spot but reside 18th, just three places above the dropzone. However, looking up the table, Andy Crosby‘s side are just four points from Northampton Town in 11th.
As for Bolton, they’re fourth, four points off the automatic promotion spots with games in hand. However, they’re seemingly not having it their own way this transfer window, having already been linked with, and missed out on, Joe Taylor from Luton Town.
This could all be paper talk – were Bolton really in for Dan Gore? If they were, they’d seemingly be an attractive proposition, but there is a caveat. If you’re fourth in the table, odds are you have a relatively settled side, and you’re looking to add value to the squad to get you over the line. Dan Gore will not want to be a squad player; he’ll need regular action, a starting place and plenty of minutes. There’s no guarantee a slick Bolton side could afford him that. The same goes for Joe Taylor – he’s started twice since joining Lincoln a fortnight ago. Would he have the same exposure at Bolton?
Gore’s move to Port Vale does make a degree of sense—regular football for a side who have looked decent in patches this season. Of course, there’s always a risk that sending a young player to a struggling team could result in a loss of form and reputation. That’s the balancing act a loan manager has to deal with!