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Bristol Post
Bristol Post
James Piercy

Bristol Rovers join race for League One hotshot wanted by Derby County and Charlton Athletic

Bristol Rovers have entered the race for Cheltenham Town’s Alfie May, with optimism growing that the Gas can strike a deal for the in-demand striker.

May is set to leave the Robins this summer after two prolific campaigns in League One in which he’s scored 48 goals in 99 games for a Cheltenham side who have finished 15th and 16th.

The 30-year-old is under contract until next summer but the weight of interest in the forward, coupled with the last opportunity to receive a major fee for him, means they are all-but resigned to losing him this summer providing the right price can be struck.

Wrexham, Charlton Athletic and Derby County all showed early interest but League Two Gillingham have emerged as recent front-runners with the Gills having offered around £200,000 for May, which has since been rejected.

Speaking earlier this week, Gills boss Neil Harris said the prospect of May moving to Priestfield was a “long shot”, which could well be linked to the emergence of Rovers as an increasingly possible destination, according to Gloucestershire Live.

A bid of around £250,000 should be enough to bring May down the M5, while the Gas are willing to match whatever he’s been offered by Gillingham but, crucially, can provide League One football and in a team that looks increasingly equipped for a promotion drive.

Joey Barton has so far added James Wilson, Luke Thomas and Jevani Brown to his squad, with veteran defender George Friend set to follow on a free transfer, and should May also arrive at The Quarters that would represent a high-quality quintet.

May has been with Cheltenham since 2020 having joined from Doncaster Rovers, his first professional club after making a name for himself in the non-league game with Hythe Town and Erith & Belvedere in the Isthmian League.

He would bring significant firepower to a Gas squad already possessing one of the most prolific frontmen in the division last season in Aaron Collins plus the experienced figure of John Marquis.

Although Rovers looked reasonably well-stocked in the final third with Ryan Loft plus wingers Luke Thomas, Jevani Brown and Scott Sinclair, they are still a striker short based on last season’s squad following the loan return of Josh Coburn to Middlesbrough.

The Teesside prospect cooled off in the second half of the season but still provided 10 goals, and should the Gas be successful in signing May they have reason to be optimistic he could comfortably exceed that figure in a blue and white shirt.

Any approach for May is not thought to be linked to Collins' future with the Welshman still very much a Rovers player with no bids having been received for the 26-year-old.

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