WIGAN Athletic are bracing themselves for a fight to keep hold of James McArthur after Leicester made their move for the Scotland star.
The Latics midfielder had been the subject of a couple of previous enquiries from Burnley, although the figures discussed weren’t even in the right ball-park.
However, the stakes were raised yesterday when Latics turned down a bid believed to be in the region of £5million for the 26-year-old.
Chairman Dave Whelan said the bid was ‘not quite to our expectations’, leaving the ball firmly in Leicester’s court.
Wigan’s stance remains the same as it has been since the future of McArthur was first speculated earlier this summer – they do not want to sell, and are under no outside pressure to sell.
But Whelan has never been one to stand in the way of a player’s ambition and, with the Foxes being in the Premier League and having a realistic chance of staying there, a move to the East Midlands would have its appeal.
While Latics wait and see exactly how much Leicester want McArthur, they are pushing through with their own move for Brentford midfielder Adam Forshaw.
The Bees accepted Wigan’s third offer for the 22-year-old on Monday, with the player currently in the north west to finalise personal terms and going through his medical.
The deal would draw a line under a summer-long pursuit of the player by boss Uwe Rosler, who signed Forshaw for Brentford two years ago.
Rosler sees the ex-Everton junior as a long-term successor to Jordi Gomez – and not a ready-made-replacement for McArthur should he depart.
In a busy day of frenzied transfer talk, Spanish defender Ivan Ramis was also being strongly linked with a return to his homeland.
And Latics were also rumoured to be lining up a swoop for striker Andy Delort, who plays in the French Second Division for Tours.