Wrexham’s Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are facing a fight to land one of their top summer transfer targets in red-hot Cheltenham Town striker Alfie May, who is the subject of interest from a host of Championship clubs after hitting the 20-goal mark for the second successive season in League One. The prolific 29-year-old frontman netted on what could prove to be his final outing for the Robins on Saturday as Cheltenham drew 2-2 with Charlton in their final match of the campaign.
May, who has just over 12 months remaining (plus a one-year extension option) on his current contract – which does not contain a release clause – is being faced with undoubtedly the biggest decision of his career as he prepares to assess the imminent offers that will arrive on the table this summer.
Should Wrexham formalise their interest, they are expected to table the best financial package for May although the move would require the player to drop down one division to League Two where he previously won the title at Cheltenham alongside Red Dragons captain Ben Tozer.
Tozer, who is considered to be a close friend of May, previously left the Robins to join Wrexham’s National League promotion bid in 2021 for a fee of £200,000 before leading the side to promotion this season under Phil Parkinson.
Unfortunately for Wrexham, they are not the only side in contention for May’s signature as Express Sport can reveal Championship clubs Huddersfield, Millwall and Birmingham, who failed with a deadline day approach in January, have all been keeping tabs on his performances in recent months.
Furthermore, May has also left a lasting impression on Luton Town’s chief recruitment officer Mick Harford, who has been making checks on loanee Glen Rea at The Completely-Suzuki Stadium during the second half of the season.
The direction of Luton’s transfer business and extent of their interest will be shaped by their Champions play-off fortunes, however, as they gear up for a two-legged semi-final clash with Sunderland.
A host of League One clubs including Peterborough and Derby are also in the mix for May, who is also attracting interest from League Two side Gillingham. Express Sport is led to believe there are a number of other clubs within the EFL – including from the Championship – in the race for the player.
Interestingly, The Gills would provide the ruthless finisher with the chance to return home to Kent where May previously made a name for himself in Non-League circles with Hythe Town before earning the chance to turn professional with Doncaster Rovers in 2017.
Gillingham were a side reborn under Neil Harris in the second half of the season following the completion of US businessman Brad Galinson’s lucrative takeover back in December and his cash has enabled them to show serious ambition in the transfer market.
The widespread nature of the interest in May means he is effectively set to weigh up four possible avenues; receiving big cash at Wrexham, pursuing the chance to play at the highest level possible in the Championship, returning home to Kent or alternatively, staying put at Cheltenham.
Robins boss Wade Elliott refused to provide assurances that May will be staying with the club next season over the course of the weekend, when he hinted his striker’s future could rest with director of football Micky Moore, who is also the subject of talks with Shrewsbury Town.
When quizzed on whether the 2-2 draw with Charlton was May’s final outing for Cheltenham, he replied: “The honest answer is no idea, but I’d be amazed if there wasn’t interest because he’s gone back to back with 20 goals, 43 goals in two seasons.
“I genuinely don’t know [whether he will stay] – that’s one for Micky [Moore] and the board to fend off and deal with those situations.”
May’s electric goalscoring form at Cheltenham previously attracted interest from former USA attacker Landon Donovan, who was in charge of USL Championship side San Diego Loyal at the time.
The second-tier USA-based outfit tried to prise May away from English football by offering to move the striker’s family to California in the summer of 2022 – an offer that was sheepishly rejected.
“They were happy to pick up my kids and my wife to ship us over there to start a new life in July,” May told Sky Sports last year.
“When my agent called me, it was like ‘Wow!’ but my wife said no straight away! But she looked out of the window one day and it was raining hard – she rang my parents and told them we were going to San Diego as it’s warmer over there!
“I sat on it for a few days, but you have a time limit to get back to the club and I sat down with the gaffer and he was open and honest with me. He said that he doesn’t believe I’m finished.
“He said that my name is on the map at the minute in the UK and the minute I leave to go to America, my name will come off it. And then I might only have 18 months over there.
“He spoke as a professional footballer to me and I felt like that was important that I knew what he wanted from me and that he wanted me to stay and sign a new deal. I’ve had people say that they bet I wish I didn’t sign that contract, but I just try and ignore it all because I know that personally, for me and my family, it was the right thing to stay in Cheltenham.
“But if something like that comes up in three, four or however many years, it’s definitely something to look at.”