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Dougie Freedman confirms Sainsbury interest but denies bid

Cameron Spencer

It seems that the Daily Mail's report that Bolton Wanderers had lodged a bid for Australia and Central Coast Mariners' 21-year-old center back Trent Sainsbury were premature. Despite the confirmation from the manager that the Trotters have not yet bid for the versatile defender, the boss has publicly stated that the club are indeed interested in Sainsbury's services.

Speaking to Tower FM ahead of last Saturday's match at Cardiff City, Dougie Freedman confirmed the club's intent:

"There's been an inquiry to see what he's doing over the summer.

"Obviously he's finished his season and there's an inquiry with my contacts over in Australia if he's going to go lie on the beach or if he wants to have a fly over and have a look around the training ground.

"Maybe have a fitness test and see if he's the kind of guy I would find in my program.

"That inquiry has obviously been leaked out there as an approach and a bid and things like that which has never been the case."

Sainsbury and Central Coast Mariners have just finished their season, having won the Hyundai A-League title while pushing on in the AFC Champions League. Mariners need a win of Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol or help from Suwon Bluewings to beat or draw Guizhou Renhe in order to advance to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in their short history.

In a vote on Central Coast Mariners' official website, Trent Sainsbury is currently in third place for Mariners Player of the Season with 17% of the vote. Michael McGlinchey leads with 26% and Daniel McBreen has 20%. Sainsbury went the full 90 minutes in the A-League Grand Final and also completed the whole match against Suwon Bluewings in Mariners' last Champions League match.

Sainsbury is also sought , per various reports, by Southampton, Swiss side FC Basel, and Dutch club Roda JC.