Bolton Wanderers midfielder George Thomason has turned down a move to Championship side Bristol City.
Ian Evatt confirmed to The Bolton News that the 22-year-old would be remaining at the ToughSheet Community Stadium, despite a £1 million bid being accepted by the Whites over the weekend.
After Bolton informed the Robins of their valuation of the player, a seven-figure offer was quickly made.
Thomason was given the final say over the move to Ashton Gate, but he has chosen to stay and try to help the Wanderers achieve promotion to the second tier.
Joining from non-league side Longridge Town in 2020, the Cumbrian was named the club’s Young Player of the Year in 2021, and despite a dislocated knee disrupting his campaign in the 2022/23 season, the former Blackpool youth player has been rewarded with a contract until the summer of 2025.
The deal would have represented the most expensive sale by the club since Gary Madine, who left in January 2018 for Cardiff City in a transfer worth £6.8 million.
After Alex Scott completed a £25m move to Bournemouth, Bristol City are in the market for a central midfielder, and it has been reported that Oxford United’s Cameron Brannagan is the other name on Nigel Pearson’s shortlist to replace the outbound talent.
A lucrative contract was placed on the table for Thomason, but his 41-year-old manager revealed finances played no part in his decision making.
What’s been said?
“He will be staying with us,” said the former Barrow boss.
“We have had lots of conversations over the weekend and George has never once expressed a desire to leave this club. He loves being here, we love him here. He is a young player with a huge amount of talent with a huge amount of progression left in him too, so after many heart-to-heart chats with him over the weekend I can say he has no desire to leave.
“It was a big decision – and every player has a valuation at this club, so when it is met then it becomes the player’s decision. That doesn’t mean to say we wanted him to leave but we are a business and player trading will have to play a part in it.
“I have to say, George from minute one expressed a desire to stay and be a part of what we are doing here. And I have to say it is very refreshing to see a young man with the ethics and morals he has.
“We have shown him a lot of faith, trust and loyalty and he wanted to repay that.
“It is great credit to him, and I am delighted he is staying.”
A huge amount of credit has to be given for the professionalism shown by both the club and the player following the bid by Bristol City.
It is certainly refreshing to see a young footballer determined not to make a move based on finances but what he feels is best for his career.
Both parties have shown a tremendous amount of faith in one another, and I suspect Thomason will now want to kick on as Bolton look to maintain their ruthless start to the League One campaign.