Barrow AFC are set to lose the manager who guided them to promotion to the English Football League, with Ian Evatt understood to be on the brink of taking on the vacancy at Bolton Wanderers.

After two years in charge at Holker Street, Evatt was yesterday negotiating personal terms with the Trotters after they agreed a compensation deal with the Bluebirds.

Whether that was the £250,000 fee quoted last week has not been disclosed.

The club had rejected an approach last week with the fee then believed to be around £150,000 for a man who had two years left to run on his contract.

Evatt is expected to take assistant manager Peter Atherton with him to Bolton with the moves set to be confirmed by both parties later today.

The 38-year-old is in line to replace Keith Hill in the University of Bolton Stadium hot seat with his soon-to-be predecessor’s contract expiring today following the Trotters’ relegation from League One last season.

It will be a bitter blow for Barrow fans, who are now very likely to see Evatt in the visiting dugout when their team face in League Two next season, their first campaign in the EFL for 48 years.

While the timing of Evatt’s imminent departure - less than two weeks after promotion from the National League was confirmed - is extremely disappointing, his contribution during his time at the Holker Street helm will never be forgotten.

Barrow was the former Blackpool and Chesterfield defender’s first permanent managerial appointment.

He arrived at a club that had lost its direction, its connection with its fanbase and one that had just seven registered players.

While the change of ownership in the autumn of 2018 brought a shift in momentum of its own, it was helped along by fortunes improving on the pitch during Evatt’s first season in charge, in no small part down to an attractive, possession-based style of play.

Ultimately, a lack of goals meant the Bluebirds finished tenth but what followed in 2019/20 had only previously occurred in the wildest dreams of AFC’s supporters.

Spearheaded by the goals of Scott Quigley and John Rooney, Barrow were four points clear at the top of the National League before the season was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Promotion was finally confirmed after a lengthy wait, but that euphoria will have died down slightly by the time Evatt puts pen to paper at Bolton, who are appointing him on the strength of how Barrow AFC were turned around under him.