FABRICE Muamba has sent a word of warning to former team-mate Marcos Alonso as the defender looks to start a new career away from the Reebok Stadium.

It is thought the full-back has decided to end his three-year Wanderers career by signing a lucrative deal with Italian club Fiorentina.

And the Whites have already started planning for life after he leaves with the signing of Marc Tierney from Norwich City.

Dougie Freedman had tried to convince Alonso to stay and continue his progression with a new contract offer a couple of months ago.

It seems his efforts are in vain, however, with sources close to the player claiming he has already agreed to play in Serie A next season when his Whites contract expires at the end of next month.

Premier League Stoke City also had an offer on the table, although that may now have been revoked after this week’s departure of manager Tony Pulis. Muamba (inset) – who played alongside the young defender for 18 months before his premature retirement from the game – believes another season at Wanderers might have been better for his development.

“Marcos (Alonso) has come on leaps and bounds,” he told The Bolton News. “I have watched him a lot and I think this kid can go on and do bigger and better things. If he is looking to go somewhere else, he has to ask himself if he is going to be playing regular football?”

Wanderers would be entitled to some compensation if Alonso moved on elsewhere but any fee would be spilt two ways with his former club Real Madrid.

It would also leave Freedman will the task of finding another first-choice full-back in what already looks like being a busy summer of recruitment.

Muamba hopes that along with all the incoming players, the Wanderers boss can retain the top talent that took Wanderers to the fringes of the play-offs last term.

“I think we can be successful next season but we need to make sure we keep our top players, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“I think Zat Knight has been outstanding this year, he’s the captain of the team now.

“There is Stuart (Holden) and Mark Davies due to come back into the team as well from last season. There have been some difficult injuries.

“We also need the strikers to be firing next season because I think that is going to be more crucial than ever.

“You look at the big teams coming down from the Premier League and they are going to have money to spend. It is going to be very interesting.”

Another factor that Muamba wants to see continue next season is the club's daunting home form.

Freedman’s team strung together eight wins in a row – the best sequence in 20 years – between February and May and have not been beaten on home soil in the league since the Boxing Day clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

“We need to keep the advantage we have had at home,” said Muamba.

“We have been playing well at the Reebok Stadium. It’s getting on for six months since anyone beat us here.

“We have started to show we have a system and that there is a pattern in our play now. I hope that can continue into next season.”