Town defender Bell a man in demand?
The sun has been shining on the Fylde coast but it is not just the weather that is hotting up with Fleetwood Town full-back Amari'i Bell set to be hot property this summer.
The Town defender is tied down to another year at Highbury but they might face a tough decision with the pacy left-footer reportedly attracting interest from higher leagues.
But it is understood it would take a seven-figure offer for Town to be tempted to let the 22-year-old go with Championship trio Norwich City, Aston Villa and Birmingham City – the club where he started his career before joining Town – reportedly circling the defender.
Bell has been watched by scouts from Premier League sides and the Championship throughout Town’s season.
West Ham United and Crystal Palace were reportedly keen on him in January, and when Town head coach Uwe Rosler addressed those rumours, he said only a Premier League side or a Championship outfit with parachute payments could afford to take Bell away from Highbury.
It has been an eye-catching season for the full-back who racked up 53 appearances, netting his first Football League in Town’s 2-1 win over Chesterfield in November.
Again, speaking in January, Rosler said the defender needed more time at the club to continue his development and ensure that he could walk into another club and become their first choice left back.
If Bell does depart this summer, Town at least planned for the future by snapping up promising left-back Joe Maguire from Liverpool.
The 21-year-old impressed on debut when he deputised for Bell in Town’s 2-0 win at Scunthorpe United in March.
Earlier this year, Rosler told the Gazette: “Since we came through the door, Amari’i has got better each week, each game.
“He was always talented, with tremendous physique, but he now reaches a level of consistency and is playing a very demanding wing-back role. I’m very happy with Amari’i. I’ve been told by our club that Amari’i will be here until the summer.
“I think Amari’i needs to reach another level. He does not want to go to a football club and be a sub.
“He wants to be bought for a lot of money and go right in there as their left-back. To achieve that I think we need to equip him at least for five more months.
“We are in a great position. The player has 18 months on his contract.
“He loves it with us and sees how far we can take him in the next four or five months.”