For much of this season, Marcos Alonso has looked like just what Bolton Wanderers need in a fullback. The tall, Spanish defender is not afraid of getting forward but is also more than capable at the back, defending the flanks. All that seems great considering that Alonso is just 22 years old and has an excellent future ahead of him. Well, great until you realize that there is only two months left on his Bolton contract.
In January, Alonso had rejected a new contract as transfer talks to Swansea, Fiorentina, and Stoke City had swirled. The Italian side, Fiorentina, were perhaps the most interesting prospect there with rumors abound that they had offered Marcos a deal (roughly) equivalent to double his Bolton contract and the chance of playing in Europe. La Viola are currently in fourth place in the Serie A table, six points shy of third place. Fourth and fifth places guarantees Europa League play while third place enters the Champions League in the early qualifying stage. Fiorentina's bid for Alonso was confirmed by the club but their valuation of Alonso's then-five months to play was far below what Bolton wanted.
Alonso came to Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2010, bought by Owen Coyle from Real Madrid for a fee around £2 million. Alonso has made 42 appearances of those nearly three years for the Trotters but 25 of those have come this season as he has found himself starting week in and week out.
Speaking about Alonso's contract situation, manager Dougie Freedman told the Bolton News:
"Marcos is playing by the rules," the manager said. "His contract is running down. Marcos has been offered a new contract and so far so good. He has not said ‘no' to it. He said he is thinking about it.
"He wants to see which direction the club is going; not in terms of what league we will be playing but in terms that he wants to play every week, he wants to be coached and get better.
"He has not said ‘no' and we are not doing too badly in terms of coaching him and making him play every week. We have got our fingers crossed on that one.
"But if he doesn't I will still go to bed at 9pm every night and still have a very good sleep and move on and get someone else."
Alonso signing a contract would be a major boost for Bolton as it has become evident that Alonso is quickly improving. A broken metatarsal had kept him out of action in previous seasons but for much of this year, Alonso has been injury free, allowing him to enjoy consistent minutes. So far this season, Marcos Alonso has four goals to his name, the most recent of which came at the weekend in Bolton's 2-0 win against Wolves.
"We are working on video analysis to see where he can get better. His back post defensive headers are terrific right now.
"He has always been an attacking full-back so there's no problem there. He is buying in so we can do no more."