Shrewsbury defender James Bolton expected to complete Portsmouth free transfer
Popular Shrewsbury defender James Bolton is expected to complete a free transfer to Portsmouth.
The 24-year-old is out of contract at Montgomery Waters Meadow and poised to join the League One big-hitters.
The right-back has spent two years at Shrewsbury, making 85 appearances in all competitions.
He has undergone a medical at Portsmouth and the move is expected to be rubber-stamped imminently.
Bolton netted the winner as Town won at Fratton Park the season before last. He also scored FA Cup goals at boyhood club Stoke and Wolves for Sam Ricketts’ side.
The exit comes as a blow for Ricketts and Town fans. Ninety-five per cent of supporters who voted in the Shropshire Star's end of season survey selected Bolton as the out-of-contract player they wished to retain.
Bolton becomes the third player in a year to move from Shropshire to Pompey after Craig MacGillivray and Bryn Morris.
Ricketts made his desire to keep Bolton at Shrewsbury known but the former Stoke youngster, who joined from Gateshead in 2017, is set to head south.
The Town boss said earlier in the summer that he hoped his vision for the Montgomery Waters Meadow club would help tie down Bolton.
He said: “He does like it here and rightly so. I think he’s done well, he enjoys it, he sees what we’re trying to do. He’s been a big part of that.
“I think he’s a player that can play a few positions as well which is really important.
"But he’s a player with a real desire to improve which is what we want here.
“Hopefully we can get something agreed that all parties are happy with and we can retain his services.”
Bolton is believed to have found the prospect of playing for a club with Pompey's fanbase difficult to turn down.
Portsmouth lost to Sunderland in the League One play-off semi-finals but will be among the promotion favourites for 2019/20.
Meanwhile, a Shrewsbury summer target has joined ambitious new League Two outfit Salford City.
Left-back Dan Jones, who looked set to be heading to the Meadow from National League Barrow, opted for a move to Salford over Town and a number of other League One sides.
Town are believed to be in the market for a left wing-back, with Wolves starlet Ryan Giles, 19, a loan target, while they will be shopping for a right-sided defender after Bolton's departure.