IT was clear from the off that Adam Bogdan wanted to keep his options open this summer.

Regardless of how many times he was asked about his contract situation last season, the Hungarian’s response was typically relaxed. Things, he insisted, would sort themselves out in time.

Ex-Whites boss Dougie Freedman wanted to nail the keeper down to a new deal 12 months ago but then very publicly shelved any negotiations after feeling the headlines were affecting his player’s form a few weeks into the new campaign.

You could argue the power shifted to Bogdan from that moment on. Even though Andy Lonergan, and later loanee Ben Amos, took possession of the number one jersey, the smart money was on Wanderers trying to keep hold of an asset they had nurtured for eight years.

To lose him for nothing, as now seems likely, would be a significant blow indeed.

It is quite ironic that the nearest Bogdan has come to saying he wanted to stay at Wanderers was after his goalkeeping master-class at Liverpool, the club now reported to be looking seriously at signing him this summer.

In the narrow corridors of Anfield, the 27-year-old, then relegated to “cup keeper” status, was caught up in perhaps his finest hour in a Bolton shirt.

“I haven’t ruled anything out,” he said after the 0-0 draw that booked a money-spinning televised replay in January.

“Obviously we need to speak at some point and we’ll see what happens.

“I think this club is going forward and in the right direction, and this kind of result can give everyone a massive boost, not just me.”

No sooner had he given fans hope that he would sit down and discuss a new deal than injury would strike again.

Bogdan would be out of commission with a finger injury until April but on his return to the team in a 3-0 win at Cardiff, Neil Lennon made his position perfectly clear: The manager wanted him to stay, and wanted the club to find the cash to tempt him.

A figure of £18,000 a week has been bandied about in the last couple of months, which would make Bogdan one of the top earners at a club trying desperately to lower the wage ceiling before the Premier League parachute payments run out.

Lennon has underlined his trust in Bogdan time and time again, praising the “calming influence” he had on his back four and reiterating how important it was to keep hold of a player who has been on the club’s books since 2007.

But the Northern Irishman must believe by now that keeping hold of Bogdan is an outside shot.

It now remains to be seen what would motivate the goalkeeper to move on elsewhere.

Clearly financial demands are high. They were enough to scare off Freedman at Nottingham Forest when he briefly looked into signing his former charge a few weeks ago.

But what of the player’s ambition? At 27, is this the right time for Bogdan to be a back-up to Simon Mignolet, or any other established top-flight keeper?

Sources in Liverpool doubt the seriousness of Brendan Rodgers’ interest in the Whites star as a second-choice in the Premier League but Stoke City also short-listed him earlier in the summer.

Bogdan has established a good reputation in a struggling side at Wanderers and his international exploits for Hungary have also ensured his name circulates abroad too.

He won’t be short of offers, yet few will come with a guarantee of first-team football quite as iron clad as the one he has at the Macron.

If Lennon does not get the answer he wants, then the back-up plan looks like being Manchester United’s Amos – another keeper coming to the end of his contract, with the same lucrative financial options as Bogdan.

He too will have options elsewhere, although the success of his loan spell at Bolton will definitely count in the club’s favour if they look towards him this summer.

First thing is first, however, and getting a final answer out of Bogdan must be Lennon’s number one priority with no other senior stopper at his disposal right now.

A summer of rebuilding has got to start somewhere.