New centre half is now priority for Wanderers
8:50am Saturday 5th January 2013 in Sport
DOUGIE Freedman will step up his search for a short-term defensive solution after this afternoon’s FA Cup clash with Sunderland.
The Whites boss confirmed that West Brom’s Craig Dawson is one of four names currently being explored – and Norwegian defender Jonatan Tollas is another being strongly linked.
But a final decision will be made after the weekend, when the club are also expected to have wrapped up the permanent signing of Barnsley striker Craig Davies.
“There are three or four players in the frame and we've got to wait until their parent clubs get through the FA Cup this weekend,” Freedman told The Bolton News. “Craig is definitely one of them.”
With Matt Mills out for the next month with a hamstring injury and David Wheater not expected back until the end of February after knee surgery, Freedman has highlighted centre-half as a position in need of strengthening.
Zat Knight and Tim Ream are his only out-and-out centre-halves available although the versatile Sam Ricketts has also filled in there recently.
And that, said Freedman, has forced him to seek a temporary solution until his contracted players are fit again.
“We are okay once David is back but with a couple of injuries we’re very short in the short term,” he said. “Matt has been injured too, and it’s something we need to sort out. What I want to do is something short-term in January until David is back, or whether I decide to buy or not.
“In this division, the amount of knocks and bumps you get and the games you play makes it impossible with the numbers we've got.”
Since the opening of the transfer window, rumours of outside interest in Wanderers’ players has also circulated freely.
Mark Davies and Marcos Alonso have been linked with Swansea, Chung-Yong Lee with Liverpool and Chris Eagles with Everton – but Freedman underlined that the club have yet to hear a single word.