Dougie Freedman planning summer shake-up at Bolton Wanderers
DOUGIE Freedman has hinted at a busy summer of transfer dealings at the Reebok.
The Wanderers boss has already got the ball rolling by opening talks with a handful of potential signings but says he is yet to reach a final decision on the fate of his out-of-contracts stars.
Zat Knight, Tyrone Mears, Chris Eagles, Andre Moritz and Stuart Holden will reach the end of their current deals and Freedman has warned that tighter budgets next season will inevitably restrict what the club are able to offer.
Wanderers see their parachute payment from the Premier League halved next season – and while the effect of Financial Fair Play is still somewhat of an unknown factor in light of current legal threats, it seems likely that the club will have to continue to reduce their playing budget. Freedman has held informal discussions with US star Holden, who is out of action until September at the earliest after knee surgery, and has pledged that he will have a role to play.
But otherwise the Scot wants to wait until May before finalising his budget for the following season and deciding which players will be allowed to move on over the summer.
“There are not a lot of games left to play and I’m happy to get them out of the way and then concentrate on where our budget is at and what we are doing,” he told The Bolton News.
“That won’t make my decision for me, but it will make the decision of what we can offer players, what we can afford. If they don’t accept then I have got to go to Plan B and recruit from outside.
“But I am definitely looking to bring some freshness into the group – I think they need that.
“There are a couple of good players out there that we are seriously interested in signing, and naturally there will be some who leave, that’s the way football goes.”
Freedman has already sussed out a few players he wants to bring on board for next season and looks ready to do the majority of his business early.
“I know exactly what I am doing this summer,” he said.
“We have got our targets and some of them have been spoken to through agents as to what their availability is going to be. We know where we are with a few of them now.
“There is still a bit to be discussed on new contracts or those who have their deal up and need to be given new ones.
“It all boils down to the budget and that will dictate what we can offer and what we can’t offer.
“We might offer some of them a deal but they may not consider it acceptable. But we have got an idea of what we would like to recruit.”