5:46pm Thursday 3rd April 2014
By Marc Iles
DOUGIE Freedman will be searching for “blue chip” investments as he looks to avoid a repeat of this season’s disappointment.
Pointing to the £1.5million acquisition of Jay Spearing last August, the Wanderers boss is eyeing more players of similar pedigree this summer.
On-loan Middlesbrough striker Lukas Jutkiewicz is believed to be at the top of his shopping list, although Freedman has revealed he has “three or four” names already lined up.
Wanderers found themselves hamstrung in the transfer market last year as they struggled to offload some of their biggest earners.
And while Freedman will be tasked with continuing to reduce the wage bill by chairman Phil Gartside and owner Eddie Davies, he feels there will be some extra room for manoeuvre than there has been in the past.
“We found last year that we just couldn’t trade,” he said. “The reason for that was there were just so many players under big contracts.
“In all honesty, they could have moved on, but they chose not to.
“We made some solid signings, though. Jay Spearing is fantastic business, rock solid, blue chip investment for this football club and I don’t think we did enough of them.”
Freedman has hinted that his targets this summer will be formed with the longer term in mind.
The Scot has been critical of some of the big money contracts handed out by previous regimes which, in his estimation, have prevented the club doing enough business in the transfer market since his arrival in October 2012.
“It has been difficult,” he said. “We have always had one eye on the financial side of things.
“We narrowly missed out on the play-offs by goal difference last year and I tried to buy a couple of players at the time to get us over the line.
“Craig Davies, Craig Dawson – they were a couple of deals just to get us through and it nearly worked.
“But when you’ve got a lot of players on good long contracts and you can’t trade, then you can’t trade. And I don’t think we did enough of that last summer.”
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