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Dougie Freedman: I am signing Alex Baptiste "100 per cent”

Charlie Crowhurst

Despite earlier reports suggesting that Ian Holloway's Crystal Palace were hoping to make a move for Blackpool defender Alex Baptiste, Dougie Freedman is confident that the versatile defender is his, no questions about it. The earlier report from the Blackpool Gazette suggested that Holloway's men had held talks with Baptiste's agent in hopes of bringing him to Selhurst Park. The Bolton manager has since rubbished that report, saying that the Blackpool man is his.

Freedman discussed the Baptiste move with in an interview with the Bolton News:

"Once everything is sorted, I am signing him as a right-back, 100 per cent.

"He can play in other positions but I feel that is the position where he would be of best value to the team.

"Alex will come here because he wants to be here, nothing else. He had very good offers from clubs elsewhere.

"I want to bring him here because he has experience, he has played in the Premier League and he is a leader - someone who captained Blackpool last season."

Questions had been previously raised about Bolton's ability to afford Baptiste but it seems that Dougie Freedman is confident that his pay is well within Bolton's means. It was apparently Baptiste's wages that forced Derby County to pull out of their attempts to sign him.

In an interview two weeks ago, Derby's Chief Executive, Sam Rush, described the issue:

"He is someone that we asked about.

"I spoke to his agent and with the best will in the world, the money he was asking for was eye-watering.

"I don't think many clubs in our division could afford him.

"There is a difference between ambition and bad management.

"I don't think Derby fans would have thanked me for bringing him in on that kind of money."

It now appears that Bolton Wanderers are waiting for Baptiste's Blackpool contract to expire before finally announcing a deal for the defender.