Championship and League One clubs circling wantaway Fleetwood Town forward Devante Cole

Fleetwood Town forward Devante Cole
Fleetwood Town forward Devante Cole

Championship and League One clubs are understood to be circling wantaway Fleetwood Town forward Devante Cole after he was left out of the travelling party for the 2-1 defeat to Gillingham.

Championship and League One clubs are understood to be circling wantaway Fleetwood Town forward Devante Cole after he was left out of the travelling party for the 2-1 defeat to Gillingham.

Cole, 22, nearly joined Championship side Sheffield United in the summer but that deal just failed to go through on deadline day.

Now as the January deadline approaches the club are bracing themselves for a battle to keep hold of the 12-goal forward.

The Gazette understands Cole's omission from the squad was NOT due to an injury.

The forward is fully fit and it is no secret that he would like to follow pal Amari'i Bell through the exit by Wednesday.

Town have already turned down one bid from an unnamed Championship club during this window but Cole's future looks to lie elsewhere.

Interest in the hotshot is expected to increase in the coming days but Town are in a strong position as they have an option to extend his current deal to cover next season.

Town head coach Uwe Rosler said: "Devante is not injured. The transfer window is coming to an end and we all knew about the situation since last summer."

Back on the pitch Rosler says that Gillingham's last-gasp penalty winner was a 'soft' decision.

With the score locked at 1-1 at the Priestfield Stadium and a minute left of the 90, referee Brett Huxtable ruled that Fleetwood forward Wes Burns has felled Callum Reilly in the box.

Tom Eaves stepped up to slot home the spot-kick, his second goal of the game, as the Gills fought back from Paddy Madden's 13th-minute opener to take all three points.

Rosler said: "I think it was soft. I think in general the referee was okay but I also felt playing to the home end the pressure was rising.

"Over the 95 minutes in general I have no complaints but I thought the penalty was soft."

It was the second time in eight days that Town had conceded a late winner, Blackburn Rovers having netted in the 83rd minute the previous Saturday.

And Rosler says his men needed to cope with the physicality of Gillingham as they slipped to 15th in League One.

He said: "Lately we had a few of them (late goals conceded). They were better in the second half. They just raised the tempo.

"I don't think they outplayed us. There were a lot of second balls, a lot of physicality which we tried to address throughout the second half by bringing on Bobby Grant and Wes Burns, who win more headers.

"They had the momentum but I felt pretty confident. We needed to cope more with their physicality, that is the bottom line."