Wanderers open Wheater contract talks in wake of Middlesbrough re-signing interest

Laurence Griffiths

A pair of new reports out of the Northern Echo and Bolton News have revealed a mass of new information regarding Bolton Wanderers defender David Wheater, contract talks, and a potential move back to Middlesbrough.

David Wheater joined Bolton Wanderers in January 2011 in a (reported) £2.3 million move from Boro. The defender signed on a three-and-a-half year deal for Wanderers, which is set to run out next year. Wheater struggled to break into the Bolton lineup at first with the center back position dominated by Zat Knight and Gary Cahill in what was then a high-flying Bolton side.

Following Cahill's departure, Wheater found himself playing in most of Bolton's games, alongside a combination of Zat Knight and, later, Tim Ream. The defender missed much of the 2012/13 season having suffered a cruciate ligament injury at the tail end of the previous season. In total, David Wheater has only made 45 appearances in all competitions for Bolton over the last two-and-a-half years.

According to a report from the Northern Echo, David Wheater is apparently worried about Dougie Freedman's defensive plans for next season, questioning whether one of the spots is to be his. Much of the Echo's report centers around Bolton's continued interest in Craig Dawson, who was spectacular for the Trotters last season. Boro have lost Andre Bikey and Shane McManus this off-season and are looking to bolster their defense. The Teesside club had previously shown interest in Tim Ream.

However, per a report from the Bolton News, Wanderers are not willing to sell Wheater and have opened talks with the player over a contract extension.

Following his knee injury, the defender was selected only four times last season, coming on as a substitute on each occasion. Just about everyone expects him to play a big part in Bolton's season, partnering with Zat Knight (who made 47 appearances in all competition last season) or with Tim Ream. Wheater and Ream formed a decent partnership in the 2011/12 season but an overall weak defense doomed Bolton to relegation.

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