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Club Focus – Wigan Athletic – Wigan shaken by Charles N’Zogbia transfer request and other transfer news

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By Patrick Ward

Friday 13 August 2010

Wigan’s preparations for the new season have been shaken by the news Charles N’Zogbia is about to hand in a transfer request as reported by Sky Sports News . The French international has always spoken about his desire to play at a higher level and it is believed that he is now prepared to officially ask for a move. The news will come as a huge blow as N’Zogbia is a key man for Wigan whose goals were crucial in enabling his team to keep their heads above water in a tough first season for Roberto Martinez as manager. Perhaps adding to his marketability, the midfielder made his debut for Laurent Blanc’s new look French team in midweek in the 2-1 defeat to Norway. A number of clubs are chasing his signature including Premier League teams Sunderland and Birmingham City as well as French champions Olympique de Marseille and Italian giants Juventus.

In other transfer news, another player who is almost on his way out of the club is Jason Scotland. Ipswich Town, who have long since been said to be leading the chase to sign the Wigan striker, have now had a bid accepted. Manager Roberto Martinez confirmed on Wednesday that a bid had been accepted but other clubs were still showing interest: “There has been a bid accepted from Ipswich but another two Championship clubs have enquired about his availability. Jason will make a decision in the next 24 hours and will take it from there.”

Martinez also said that if a deal hasn’t been finalised between the clubs, Scotland will be in the squad for the opening game of the season against Blackpool: “As it is, it is a bit in the air, but unless a deal is finalised he will be in the squad [Against Blackpool]. Tomorrow, before the big game, we need to know what Jason needs. If he is staying here he will be involved in the squad, if not we will wish him the very best.”

Ipswich manager Roy Keane said he is “confident” that Scotland will join the Tractor boys next week. Keane said: “Agreeing a fee with the club is just the start of the process, but we’re quietly confident we can get him to the club. I’ve already spoken to the boy. He’s keen to come here and we’re keen to get him in.” He added “Hopefully we can get the deal done next week. I would expect all these types of dealings to be done over the weekend.”

Jon Routledge has also left Wigan to join Hamilton Academical on loan until January 2011. The 20 year-old midfielder has already teamed up with Wigan midfielders James McCarthy’s and James McArthur’s former club ahead of the start of the SPL this weekend. Roberto Martinez believes it will be a perfect chance for the midfielder to get experience. The manager said: “Jon will be able to gain great experience from his time at Hamilton, playing in a competitive league for a team who have a great record for nurturing young talent and we wish him all the best.” Routledge spent a short time last season on loan at Swedish club Ostersunds and has made only one appearance for Wigan, coming in the final game of the 2008/09 season against Portsmouth.

Getting experience in more salubrious settings than Hamilton Academical this week were Victor Moses and James McCarthy. Moses made his debut for the England Under-21’s in their 2-0 friendly win against Uzbekistan while McCarthy played in the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21’s 5-0 win over Estonia in the European Under-21 Championship Qualifiers. Moses got 45 minutes of international under his belt before being replaced by Sunderland-bound Danny Welbeck. McCarthy created the first goal for the Republic of Ireland, setting up Anthony Stokes before getting his first Under-21 goal on the hour to make it 3-0.

Finally, Wigan will face Hartlepool in the 2nd round of the Carling cup. The Latics will head to Victoria Park on the week starting the 22nd of August. Hartlepool reached the 2nd round with a deserved 2-0 win against Sheffield and were rewarded by hosting Wigan. Showing how far the Latics have travelled in a relatively short period of time, the last team the two sides met was in the 96/97 season in League 2 (then called Division 3) as both games ended all square. These games featured one Roberto Martinez and Wigan’s assistant manager Graeme Jones as players for a promotion-winning Wigan side.

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