Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman hints at new deal for defender Zat Knight

Zat Knight has been in impressive form in recent weeks

Zat Knight has been in impressive form in recent weeks

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

ZAT Knight’s fine late-season form could tempt Dougie Freedman into offering him a new deal.

The club captain was expected to leave Wanderers this summer after five years but after regaining his place in the side, the 33-year-old has been one of the Whites’ outstanding performers.

Freedman admits the club will be unable to offer the kind of salary Knight and many like him were earning in the Premier League days.

But after watching the big centre-half impress against Wigan on Saturday, the Scot hinted talks could be in the offing for the ex-England international.

“Big Zat Knight is playing the best football I have ever seen him play and he’s fighting for the cause – whatever that might be, he’s fighting for it,” he told The Bolton News.

“He wants to sit down and he’s doing himself no harm at all. I’m forming that idea with one or two players right now in my mind.

“If that’s the way it’s going to go I’ll be giving Zat six-week contracts from now on because he’s been outstanding.”

Knight has been strongly linked with a move to Philadelphia Union in the United States, although Freedman has denied any contact had been made by the MLS club.

The Solihull-born defender would be free to move for nothing at the end of his contract, along with Stuart Holden, Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears and Andre Moritz.

Whether the club can afford a deal to suit Knight is another matter – but Freedman has been pleased with the player’s attitude since coming back into the first- team frame in the last couple of months.

“I can’t lie – I’m in a position at the end of this season where financially I have to make some difficult decisions on who to keep and who to release,” he said. “But if he keeps playing like that then you know the answer.

“There are several factors to it but you can do yourself no harm by doing exactly what Zat has done and showing what you are capable of.”

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