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Freedman confirms Matt Mills inquiry by Leeds, says he wants to keep him

Michael Steele

Many will remember the start of the Matt Mills non-transfer saga earlier this summer. To recap: Leeds United, who need a new central defender, are now managed by Brian McDermott, Mills' former boss at Reading. The rumored fee for the player was around £1 million or half of what Bolton Wanderers initially paid to Leicester City for the player. Leeds had not paid seven figures for any one player in some eight years.

About a month after the rumor first emerged, a report revealed that there had been no actual bid from Leeds United for the player. However, in a new interview with the Bolton News, Dougie Freedman has confirmed that Leeds have indeed inquired about the player's situation.

"Matt Mills is okay. We had an enquiry from Leeds United, a phone call from their chief executive to enquire what his situation was.

"He is a very capable defender who I would like to keep, but like everybody, if the right offer comes in and he tells me he wants to go, then he can go.

"I only want people at this football club who show the right attitude to being here - not someone who thinks we owe him a favour for what he has done in the past, or last year. Matt has shown the right attitude and is someone I'd like to work with.

"I've spoken to him a lot and he's a good guy. He works hard and wants to play.

"Last season he didn't quite get in the team but he's in there fighting for his position.

"If he can accept that he has got to fight for it then he stays.

"Ideally I'd want him to stay because of his attitude to training."

Should Bolton let Mills go, they will have to recruit a replacement to provide added strength in depth. Wanderers' central defender pool is really only four-deep right now with Matt Mills, David Wheater, Tim Ream, and Zat Knight the men who really call that position home. New right back Alex Baptiste played in the center for much of his time at Blackpool but Dougie has made it clear that his position with Bolton will be on the flank.

Last season, Matt Mills made 18 appearances for Bolton Wanderers before an injury in December and the signing of Craig Dawson relegated him to the bench.