BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard has spelled out his desire to keep Alfie Doughty – with Celtic running out of time to get a deal done for the winger.
The Scottish transfer window closes on Monday and the SPL champions have already had two bids rejected for the 20-year-old.
Celtic are expected to go as high as seven figures with a final offer for Doughty, who is out of contract at the end of June.
But Charlton look set to stand firm and resist any bids for their academy product.
The Danish businessman, who took control of the League One club a week ago, is flying into the UK this morning. Charlton would only get compensation for Doughty if he ran down his terms – with that figure reduced if he makes a cross-border switch.
“I spoke very early on with Lee Bowyer [manager] and Steve Gallen [director of football] about that situation,” Sandgaard told the South London Press on Wednesday. “Someone with that kind of talent we want to keep here.
“We don’t want to keep decimating the team just to pay a few more bills.
“I think you’ll start seeing the difference to what you saw in the spring [when East Street Investments ran the club]. Under the old ownership that would have been an immediate sale. We see Alfie as someone we can build on. He’s still got a lot of things he can improve on over the next season or two to become a really, really high quality player and help take us further.”
Sandgaard’s arrival has lifted the transfer embargo and the South Londoners will bring in two frontmen if Macauley Bonne departs.
The 24-year-old only cost £200,000 from Leyton Orient in June 2019 and QPR were pushing to conclude a deal yesterday.
Charlton had already knocked back seven-figure offers for Bonne.
“The offer from QPR – that is interesting,” said Sandgaard. “If they come up enough with the price then it’s obviously something we need to consider.
“At some point it can’t be all about building a team – we’ve just got to be smart.
“We’ll see how that plays out. Stability in the team is important and that started several weeks ago with Alfie Doughty [not cashing in].”
Charlton signed playmaker Marcus Maddison on a one-year contract with the option of another 12 months.
Maddison, 27, was a free agent after leaving Hull City.
He has scored 52 goals in 212 League One matches – along with 76 assists.
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