Bolton Wanderers have belatedly joined the hunt for one of the most sought after talents in the English game. Brighton’s Lewis Dunk was recently called up into the England Under 21 squad and his steady, mature performances at the heart of the Albion defence this season has alerted the usual suspects.

At just 19 he has become a pivotal figure in Gus Poyet’s team who continue to push hard for a play-off spot and the possibility of a fairytale promotion and should the south coast club achieve their aim then all bets are off as to whether this exciting prospect moves anywhere at all or remains under the tutorage of the wily Uruguayan.

Should they remain in the Championship next term however the Seagulls will find it extremely difficult to retain Dunk who to his credit has maintained his exceptional form despite the constant speculation regarding his future.

With Spurs, Manchester City and Fulham all monitoring his progress a fee in the region of £5m has been mooted but Wanderers are planning to prise away the highly-rated defender from their clutch of top flight rivals by not only offering money but also Zak Knight in part-exchange.

Ex-England international Knight is 32 next month and with only a year remaining on his contract and finding opportunities increasingly hard to come by at the Reebok the club are keen to move him on rather than risk lose him for nothing.

The centre-back – who made his 100th appearance for the Trotters at Old Trafford in January – has found his path blocked by the emerging partnership of Ream and Wheater and though he has given sterling service to Bolton a firm approach from another Premier League club is considered unlikely.

He may well be convinced that a step down a division is his best possible option especially in view of Brighton’s future being unquestionably bright.

As for Dunk his future remains uncertain but after experiencing regular first team action he is unlikely to want to stymie his development by finding himself fifth or sixth in line for a place at one of the bigger clubs. Wanderers may well be his preferred destination with this in mind.

Whatever the outcome the teenager can look forward to playing at the Emirates at Anfield next season. Let’s hope for his sake however that this does not occur again….