WIGAN Athletic are bracing themselves for a renewed battle to keep hold of Victor Moses following reports Liverpool have joined Chelsea in the race for his signature.
Chelsea showed their hand first with a £3million bid a fortnight ago, one that was immediately given short shrift by Latics.
Dave Whelan accused the London club of ‘taking the Mickey’ with their valuation of a player who cost Latics £2.5million when he arrived from Crystal Palace two-and-a-half years ago.
Since then, Moses has progressed from being a promising teenager to one of the best young players in the top flight, and played an instrumental role in Wigan’s Great Escape last term.
With the Eagles holding a sizeable sell-on clause on any future Moses transfer, Chelsea would need to double – if not treble – their opening offer to get Latics even to the negotiating table.
With Florent Malouda expected to leave Chelsea this summer, rumours have been rife of a second bid on the way from the Champions League-winners.
The Evening Post understands such talk is premature, but Chelsea’s hand may be forced by the emergence of Liverpool as credible bidders in the race.
Brendan Rodgers has yet to make his first signing since taking over from Kenny Dalglish earlier this month, and his attempts to bring in Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim appear to have hit a stumbling block. The Iceland international had agreed to move to Swansea after a successful loan spell last term, but understandably had second thoughts after Rodgers jumped ship to Anfield.
It had been assumed Sigurdsson would follow Rodgers to Merseyside, but the waters were then muddied by Tottenham showing an interest.
Spurs are expected to unveil Andre Villas-Boas as their new manager within the next 48 hours, and Sigurdsson is being tipped to go to White Hart Lane where he feels there’s a more realistic chance of Champions League football.
If that is the case, Liverpool could well firm up their interest in Moses, who admitted recently he would be receptive to a move to Anfield.
Whatever happens, Moses will not be among the Wigan players who return for pre-season at the end of next week. The 21-year-old has been granted extra time off, along with Ali Al Habsi, after only just completing his international commitments.