Manchester City goalkeeper’s contract situation clear as Bolton Wanderers reveal transfer stance

James Trafford has vowed that he would not be interested in returning to Manchester City to merely play under-23s football as Bolton Wanderers would be keen to have him on loan again next season.

The 19-year-old is well regarded at City and has headed out on loan to Wanderers for the second half of the season to pick up valuable first-team experience.

Trafford is currently in his second loan spell of this campaign, having joined Bolton on a deal until the end of this season, having spent the first half at Accrington Stanley.

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He has slotted straight into the team since his arrival at the League One club in mid-January, keeping five clean sheets in his first 10 games for Evatt’s side, which has coincided with a rise up the table as Wanderers have narrowed the gap to the play-offs to five points.

Trafford has made no secret of the fact that he aims to become City’s number one eventually, but is currently fourth choice in the pecking order behind number one Ederson, back-up Zack Steffen and veteran Scott Carson.

His contract at City runs out in the summer of 2023 and he is enjoying being in men’s football and the feeling of playing for points that has more meaning compared to being in the under-23s.

Trafford is open to the propect of heading back out on loan this summer, whether that be back to Bolton or elsewhere, as he made it clear he is not interested in going back to City to play in the under-23s set-up again.

He said: “I am loving the feeling of playing for points. It is so different to the 23s league because this means so much more.

“You get beat in the 23s and you move on to the next one, you train with the first team the next day, everything is good.

“But say if we lost the next seven games, there would be people’s jobs on the line. Some of the lads might not be here. It means so much more and I am loving it – but of course it’s better when we are winning.

It is still February, so there is no rush (on a decision for his future).

“Say I did go out on loan again, whether it’s back here or elsewhere, clubs are not looking at the moment. And if I was to go back there I do not know if they know what is happening with Eddie (Ederson), Scott (Carson), Zach (Steffen) or even Slicks (Cieran Slicker).

“I would never go back and play 23s. If I was to go back with City it would be as second choice or to challenge Eddie.

“I would not want to play that level again, especially now I have got the taste for the environment of men’s football.”

Wanderers boss Ian Evatt has raised the question that Bolton would be willing to have Trafford again next season, a move he feels would suit all parties.

The Bolton boss said: “Every signing we make, and even loan players, we have always got one eye on the future.

“He has enjoyed his time here and I was speaking to him this morning, he thinks his game is coming on. City have loved it because he is playing at a big club in front of a lot of fans and it is giving him valuable experience.

“So the arrangement works for all parties. If we had a deal where we could take him again next season, then why not? It is a two-way street.

“We are really happy with him and hopefully he can have a strong end to the season and we will have another look at him in the summer.”

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