Bolton Wanderers star Andy Lonergan could get a new deal but it won't come easy, says Dougie Freedman
Updated 7:35am Monday 19th May 2014 in Sport
ANDY Lonergan has been assured there could be another deal on the cards for him this summer if he wants to stay and fight for his place at Wanderers.
Dougie Freedman has rubbished reports the club are looking to cash in on the former Preston North End stopper, who has 12 months left to run on his contract.
Lonergan played against Birmingham City on the final day of the season, his first appearance since February 1, but had fallen behind Adam Bogdan in the pecking order over the last few months.
Freedman is weighing up whether to try and get Bogdan to extend his current deal, which expires at the end of next season.
News that Wanderers were also discussing a contract with another experienced back-up in Arran Lee-Barrett fuelled speculation Lonergan would be looking to leave – but Freedman insists the 30-year-old stopper can have a future at Bolton if he wants to scrap it out with Bogdan for the number one spot.
“Andy knows his position and that he has a year left here,” he told The Bolton News. “But he’s another player – and I have told him this – who I would be very comfortable sitting down with over the summer and looking to sign a new contract.
“But he needs to be comfortable fighting for his position. He isn’t guaranteed anything.
“I’m comfortable saying that because I think his game has come on. I think the way I want to play eventually – as you have seen the last four or five weeks – from the back, Andy Lonergan definitely has the capability to do that.”
Lonergan had a five-month run as top dog after Bogdan injured his knee in October but a few high-profile errors blighted what had otherwise been a well-received run in the side.
Freedman dropped Lonergan after what he described as a “rush of blood” against Ipswich Town – a mistake that led to the decisive penalty in a 1-0 defeat at Portman Road.
But the Whites boss insists he is not looking at Lonergan purely as back-up to Bogdan, who missed the last game of the campaign with a back strain.
“I’m very honest with Andy Lonergan – he’s not a number two, he’s very, very capable of playing in the Championship,” he said.
“He had a run in the team but I thought it was the right time to bring Adam back.
“Andy knows my thoughts and he knows how highly I rate him.”
Meanwhile, Andre Moritz has returned to Brazil to be with his family and consider a contract offer from Wanderers.