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Dougie won't overpay Marcos Alonso to keep him at the Reebok

Charlie Crowhurst

Marcos Alonso's contract and the subsequent transfer rumors surrounding the defender have been a hot topic of discussion around the Reebok Stadium. After two years of sitting on the bench after coming in as a (relatively) high-priced buy from Real Madrid, Alonso was finally given consistent starting time with Bolton Wanderers and kicked on from there. Sure, his defensive positioning is still suspect, but if Marcos Alonso keeps going the way he has, there is no question that he could be a major piece for the Trotters in the near future.

Well, that is if Marcos Alonso decides to extend his Bolton Wanderers stay. The defender's contract runs out at the end of the current season. I've just looked at my watch and that's (gasp) not far away. As a result, other teams have already formed a queue for if/when Marcos leaves the Trotters and Fiorentina have been the front-runners for the last few months.

Rumor has it that La Viola are offering Alonso somewhere in the neighborhood of double the wages he makes at Bolton Wanderers and are strong contenders for a place in Europe next season. Those are two things that the Trotters simply cannot offer. So, what would keep Marcos at the Reebok, you ask? The promise of consistent playing time and growth as a player. While life at Fiorentina would be grand for Alonso, he would likely spend the vast majority on the bench or in the reserves.

All of the above has prompted Dougie Freedman to comment on Alonso's contract situation at yesterday's pre-Bristol City presser:

"He's a fantastic fella to work with, and he's looking around and seeing his options, but we're in the hunt with everyone else.

"I won't put the club's financial position in jeopardy in terms of breaking the bank. I don't think that's right. A player will stay with me because he feels he will develop.

"He has been playing well," Freedman said. "He's the kind of project I like to work with.

"He has got that good physique, he's hungry to do well, he's not established yet but it's getting to the stage when Marcos has got to decide if that is the best career move for him or not.

"I can't change how I work with players. I won't be irresponsible because I think that's the right way to manage a football club."