ROBERTO Martinez is hoping to tie up the permanent signing of former Wolves midfielder David Jones this week.
Jones, who came through the ranks at Manchester United, joined Latics at the beginning of the summer primarily to keep his fitness levels up after turning down a new contract at Molineux and becoming a free agent.
But the 26-year-old impressed Martinez with his attitude on the training pitch and during a couple of run-outs with the first team during their pre-season programme.
The latest of these was at Preston yesterday, when the visiting supporters were left chanting ‘Roberto, sign him up’ such was his impact off the bench in the second half.
And the Wigan chief hopes to do just that by thrashing out personal terms this week.
“It’s obvious that our fans can spot a good player when they see one,” smiled Martinez after yesterday’s 3-1 victory at Preston.
“And we will be working extremely hard to try to persuade him his future lies at Wigan.
“If we can do that I’m sure he will be a big, big asset for this football club.
“David is a very talented player, technically very gifted, tactically very clever, and has great experience in the Premier League.
“He is 26 but has a great desire to learn, and has a sweet left foot.
“We will be working very hard to make sure he becomes a part of our football club and hopefully that will be sorted out very soon.
“At the beginning he wanted to come in and get himself fit, and he impressed us all from day one.
“I was already a big admirer of his from the work he did at Wolves, and when a player like him becomes available you can’t let the opportunity pass you by.”
Martinez was also delighted with the comfortable victory at Deepdale that saw Latics extend their unbeaten pre-season run with only one clash – next Sunday’s visit of Villarreal – to come.
“You have to be satisfied when you come through an exercise like this with no injuries and everyone gets a good work-out,” he added.
“There were some areas we will have to work on, but we will be making sure we use the next week as well as we can to be ready for the next challenge against Villarreal.”