Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday June 5 2011
Transfer speculation around the Latics seems to be gathering momentum this week, not only are players being linked to and from the club, the boss, Roberto Martinez, is now, it would seem, a wanted man.
Ali Al-Habsi with apparently two bids submitted and two bids rejected the Latics are at a bit of a crossroads regarding Ali, Bolton look like they want the full £5 million that they have quoted, which is a lot of money for a goalkeeper and the club may feel that they are being held to ransom, do they test Bolton's resolve with another improved offer or go and look elsewhere? The next week or so will be crucial in this deal.
Charles N'Zogbia rumours have been rife this week concerning Charlie, the usual posse of clubs courting the France international looks to be shaping into some solid bids with Liverpool set to make a £15 million offer has they try to get their man at the 3rd time of asking, will the Latics sell? Well Martinez says yes, but only if the deal suits the club.
Chris Kirkland has been told he can leave on a free according to some sources, Aston Villa are reportedly keen on giving the former England goalkeeper a chance to resurrect his career, seeing as they have just lost Brad Friedel to Spurs they are desperate for a keeper to come in, Kirkie? Time will tell.
Craig Makail-Smith currently enjoying a holiday, but on his returns it looks like the 27 year old Peterborough leading goalscorer could be heading up the M6 to sign on the dotted line with the Latics, it has been reported in several news outlets the deal between the two clubs has been done, somewhere in the region of £3 million being suggested, but no official confirmation from either club as yet.
Pablo Piatti and Hernan Bernadelli La Liga side Almeria have been relegated and their prize assets would appear to be up for grabs, the Latics have been linked with Argentine pair Piatti and Bernadelli, who are both undoubtedly class players and would fit in to the Latics style of play, a possibility but at a lot more than the £3 million being reported.
Guy Moussi the highly rated Nottingham Forest midfield man is available on a free transfer and he is someone linked with a move to the DW Stadium in the past, apparently Everton boss David Moyes is also interested in Moussi and has had him watched several times, news outlets have suggested that the Frenchman is on his way north, but to which club, the Latics or Everton.
Cedric Hengbart French right back currently with Auxerre and reportedly interesting the Latics along with Blackburn and Newcastle, at 30 though not really the age that Martinez likes to bring in, don't think this one is going anywhere.
Roberto Martinez following the departure of Mark Hughes from Fulham and Gerrard Houllier from Villa, Martinez is suddenly high on the bookies list of favourites to take on a new job, in the middle of a five year plan at Wigan the gaffer is going nowhere, and if he was to leave, with all due respect, it wouldn`t be for Fulham or Villa. Latics owner Dave Whelan has said that he wants to sit down and talk over a contract extension with his manager, Martinez is here for the long run.
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Date:Sunday June 5 2011
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