Wigan Athletic; Jan 2008 Transfer window diary - Week 3

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Colin Illingworth


Colin is a sub-editor on a regional newspaper and is a die-hard Aberdeen fan. He's prepared to sell his soul to the Devil for the Dons to return to their former glory so Satan, if you're reading this, give him a call!...
[full biography]
1/23/2008 11:00:00 AM.
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The Latics are currently out of the relegation drop zone but they are not entirely out of trouble although Steve Bruce has done a great job in galvanising the players in recent weeks. The former Birmingham City and Crystal Palace boss knows he needs to change the playing staff to match his long-term goals at the JJB Stadium and itís been no surprise to see Wigan being featured heavily in the transfer tittle-tattle.

The week began with the Guardian claiming that Derby County boss Paul Jewell wants to link up with his former defender Emmerson Boyce (14/1/08). The former Crystal Palace man cost Jewell just £100,000 in 2006 but I think he may have to pay Wigan a bit more this time round to persuade Bruce to let him go.

Another Wigan player who is attracting the attention of Premiership clubs is Austrian midfielder Paul Scharner. The versatile 27-year-old is a target for Fulham boss Roy Hodgson who is reportedly ready to test Wiganís reserve with a £3 million bid (Daily Mirror 15/1/08). Scharner has been given a new lease of life under Bruce and has repaid him with three vital goals so I would be surprised to see him leave.

Steve Bruce is keen to strengthen his back four and The Sun (15/1/08) reported that the former Manchester United captain had made an improved offer for Hibernianís David Murphy but the young Scot opted to join Premiership rivals Birmingham City instead. However, Wigan did seal the signing of former Spurs defender Erik Edman. The Swedish international left-back cost the club just £500,000 and should prove to be a great acquisition. Steve Bruce has also secured the signing of Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia, who has been at the JJB on loan since 2006.

The Daily Mail claimed that Steve Bruce and his former Manchester United colleague Roy Keane were in competition for the signature of Birmingham Cityís French midfielder Olivier Kapo (18/1/08). Steve Bruce paid Juventus £3 million for the 27-year-old in the summer and would love to be reunited with him, but considering the impact heís had in Birmingham I canít see the Scotsman letting him go without a fight.

The Scottish Sun has also linked Wigan with a move for Motherwell striker Ross McCormack (18/1/08). The former Rangers forward has also been a target for Gareth Southgateís Middlesbrough, but the 21-year-old has insisted that he will not be going anywhere until the end of the season at least.

Meanwhile Glasgow Celtic could be ready to give Wigan's Welsh wizard Jason Koumas an escape route from the JJB by taken him on loan for the rest of the season (Sunday Mail 20/1/08).


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