DOUGIE Freedman has confirmed that Alex Baptiste will be signed as a right-back, once his move from Blackpool is officially rubber-stamped.

Wanderers fans are waiting anxiously for confirmation of the signing of the 27-year-old defender, who is currently in the final throes of his contract at Bloomfield Road and negotiating a way to link-up with his new club slightly earlier than planned.

Baptiste played in three different positions across the back line for the Seasiders last season but Freedman has rubbished any talk that he arrives at the Reebok as a “utility man.”

“Once everything is sorted, I am signing him as a right-back, 100 per cent,” he told The Bolton News.

“He can play in other positions but I feel that is the position where he would be of best value to the team.”

Baptiste’s arrival raises instant questions about the future of last season’s right-backs, Sam Ricketts and Tyrone Mears, or even youngster Joe Riley, whose campaign was blighted by injury.

Freedman beat a host of Premier League and Championship clubs to land the Mansfield-born defender but insists he has not paid over the odds to bring him to the club.

Derby County chief executive Sam Rush described the player’s wage demands as “eye-watering” but the Wanderers boss says the deal is well within his club’s means.

“Alex will come here because he wants to be here, nothing else,” he said. “He had very good offers from clubs elsewhere.

“I want to bring him here because he has experience, he has played in the Premier League and he is a leader – someone who captained Blackpool last season.”

A rumour circulated yesterday claiming Crystal Palace had tried to take advantage of the fact Baptiste’s move had not been officially confirmed by hijacking the deal – but the news was strongly denied by Wanderers sources.

The signing of left-back Marc Tierney from Norwich City is certainly done and dusted and Freedman believes the fact he also turned down more lucrative offers from elsewhere underlines his desire to play for Wanderers.

“Marc has got the right character, he has got good experience and has played in the Premier League so I'm delighted to have got him,” he added. “He had options and other places he could have gone but the fact is he wanted to come here, and that is very important.”