Warren Joyce expects Sam Morsy to join Barnsley sooner rather than later - despite the combative midfielder returning to Wigan Athletic this week.
Morsy, who signed a season-long loan at Barnsley in August, was spotted at the DW Stadium sporting a Latics bench jacket during the 1-0 home defeat to Huddersfield on Monday afternoon - sparking hopes of a return.
But rather than being back for good, Joyce hinted it will probably be only a short-lived reunion.
“There’s a clause in his contract where we can bring him back, which we did, we activated that,” the Latics boss revealed.
“But Barnsley have a clause whereby they can sign him if they want to sign him for a set amount.
“They’ve activated that as well, so unfortunately I think he’ll end up becoming a Barnsley player.
“There’s nothing we can do really, we don’t have an option.
“They can sign him if they pay ‘x’ amount of money, and they’ve exercised that clause.
“It’s just up to Sam now really to agree personal terms.”
Joyce explained Morsy’s appearance was down to an issue of his current unavailability to play rather than anything more intriguing.
“Obviously he’s got six stitches in his head at the moment, and he had a back injury as well, so wasn’t available for selection,” Joyce revealed.
Morsy admitted last week he’d joined Barnsley having been told over the summer by then-boss Gary Caldwell that he didn’t have a future at the DW.
And despite there being a change in management at the DW in the meantime, Joyce is not confident that will hold any sway in the player’s desire to make the move permanent.
“I’ve spoken to the lad, he’s a sound lad - my type of lad, my type of bloke,” Joyce added.
“But when he left here at the start of the season, a fee was agreed for him, that they could trigger at any particular time.
“So whatever my thoughts on him are, it boils down to him now and nobody else.
“There’s nothing that the club or me can do about it.
“It’ll boil down to the choice now between a side that’s flying high in the league, who can pay...and it’ll boil down to the lad really.”