McManus and Nilsson expected to exit Fleetwood

Fleetwood Town's Declan McManus

Fleetwood Town's Declan McManus

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Three Scottish Championship clubs are believed to be battling it out for Fleetwood’s out-of-favour striker Declan McManus, while manager Steven Pressley says centre-half Marcus Nilsson’s future also lies elsewhere.

Ayr United, Dunfermline and Greenock Morton are reportedly interested in the forward after a potential move to League Two Stevenage fell through.

McManus spent time on trial at Stevenage this summer but they have signed three strikers during the close-season, scuppering any chance of a move for the Scot.

Town snapped up 21-year-old McManus from Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen last summer after he was nominated for the SPFA League One Player of the Year award for his performances on loan at Morton, helping them win promotion to the Scottish Championship.

He scored on his League One debut in Town’s 1-1 opening-day draw with Southend, but the youngster did not fulfil his potential and returned to Scotland in January for his third loan spell at Morton.

He scored five times in 20 appearances and bagged the Scottish Championship Player of the Month award for February.

It was understood McManus, who has another year left on his Town contract, was hoping to remain in England but a return to Scotland looks likely. He made his first Fleetwood appearance since November in Saturday’s 4-1 win over National League North side Salford City.

The Gazette understands he was not included on Town’s pre-season tour to Holland and manager Pressley said: “I think that Dec will be moving on in the next week or so. I certainly hope for him (that he does).”

Centre-back Nilsson is interesting top Scandinavian clubs and the centre-half looks set to leave Fleetwood in the coming weeks.

The 28-year-old Swede joined Town in February, and although the club exercised its option to extend his deal for next season, Saturday’s match at Salford may prove his last for the club.