Oriol Riera wants to reign in Spain

Oriol Riera after a rare goal for Wigan
Oriol Riera after a rare goal for Wigan

ORIOL Riera’s career at Wigan Athletic could well be over after just one year.

The Spanish striker was the Marquee signing of last summer after a successful season in La Liga with Osasuna.

But Riera struggled to adjust to life in England and the Championship, scoring only one goal – against rock-bottom Blackpool – in the first half of the campaign.

He secured a loan move back to his homeland in January with Deportivo La Coruna, and managed to find the net four times as the club narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight.

Requiring a point from the final-day trip to champions Barcelona, Depor trailed 2-0 before Riera appeared off the bench and helped his side to a priceless 2-2 draw.

The 28-year-old has made noises about wanting to remain in Spain, despite having two years remaining on his contract at the DW Stadium.

Only last month, Latics chairman David Sharpe said he expected Riera – along with Andy Delort, James Tavernier and Rob Kiernan, who were also loaned out in January – to be back at Wigan for the first day of pre-season training on June 25.

But with Latics looking to slash the wage bill following relegation to League One, it would be no surprise to see a parting of the ways over the coming weeks.

Riera’s agent has been quoted this week as saying his client would be willing to turn his back on better offers elsewhere to remain with Deportivo next term.

Granada have also reportedly expressed an interest in the player who came through the ranks at Barcelona.

There has also been interest from overseas, but Riera’s believed to be a ‘priority’ signing for Deportivo and they are the frontrunners at this stage.

Although Latics would welcome the freeing-up of his wages, they would be looking to claw back a large chunk of the £2million fee it cost to land the player 12 months ago.

They could also be willing to listen to offers for Delort, who similarly failed to make his mark after arriving from French side Tours on deadline day last summer.

Delort failed to score a single goal before being loaned back to his former club midway through last term.

Despite scoring only two goals back at the Ligue 2 outfit, Delort says he has offers from top-flight clubs in his homeland and is keen to leave Wigan.

“I want to go and they (Wigan) want to sell me,” he is quoted as saying.

Latics would be looking to recoup as much of the £3million they paid for Delort, but are facing a significant loss.