EARLY birds Wanderers have pulled off yet another deal by snatching winger Liam Feeney from under the nose of local rivals Blackburn Rovers.

It may be less than two weeks after the end of the season but Dougie Freedman has already secured his fourth senior signing of the summer.

Feeney had been in talks with Blackburn after spending two months on loan at Ewood Park at the end of the season.

But he turned down the chance to stay on with Rovers to reunite with Freedman - ending a cat-and-mouse chase for the ex-Millwall flyer that began last September.

Wanderers had the option of signing Feeney permanently when they brought him in from Millwall nine games into last season.

He impressed in four appearances but Freedman pulled out of negotiations because he felt the Londoners’ asking price was too high – prompting then- Lions boss Steve Lomas to recall him to The Den.

Speaking to The Bolton News back in January, Freedman told The Bolton News that he would not be bullied into a deal.

“We liked Liam, I think the fans did too, and it's someone I'm looking for with that pace," he added.

“He was loaned for three months and there was a buy-out clause there, but it was quite a lot of money.

“I'm not going to be put into a corner. Millwall asked us to pay that money and I said 'no' so he got called back.”

Feeney returned to Millwall played another 14 games for the Lions before finishing the season off on loan with Blackburn, making another six appearances and impressing manager Gary Bowyer enough to explore a permanent move.

Sources at Wanderers indicate that Freedman has beaten him to the punch, however, and that Feeney’s signing will be announced officially when his contract at Millwall expires at the end of June.

It is also understood that the capture of the 27-year-old’s signature ends interest in Birmingham City’s Chris Burke.

Feeney’s signing means Freedman has already secured four new players for next season – following the arrival of Neil Danns from Leicester, Liam Trotter from Millwall and Dorian Dervite from Charlton.