The Sun says Blues boss David Moyes came unstuck when £12million target Fernandes did a late U-turn and opted for a move to Valencia.
Now he has switched his sights to Nolan although Moyes will face a £5m battle with Middlesbrough for his services.
Bolton might be prepared to do business because boss Sammy Lee is trying to change the club's style of play.
Nolan has been unsettled by being played out of position wide on the left or right.
And although he returned to central midfield in the victory over Reading it may not be a permanent switch.