HARRISON Hansen has admitted for the first time he has been targeted by Salford.
The forward is currently negotiating a fresh deal with Wigan amid interest from his hometown club.
Salford’s new owner Dr Marwan Koukash has made no secret of his ambitions to drag the soon to be renamed Red Devils from their current position of 13th in Super League to the top-four and wants Hansen on board for 2014.
“There has been in interest from Salford,” said Hansen, a former junior of Swinton-based Folly Lane.
“A big thing he is trying to do is reclaim history and get players back who have left (the area).
“A big part of his plan is to get people back to Salford and he wants to build a competitive side so who knows next year? There is going to be a different side to Salford.”
Hansen’s father Shane was a favourite at the Willows for his bone-jarring defence but Hansen went straight to Wigan as a 16-year-old before making his first team debut in 2004, a home win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
With more than 200 Warriors appearances under his belt, Wigan have an option for a further year on Hansen’s contract at the end of this season and while the Samoa international refused to rule out a move away, he says he is happy at the DW Stadium. “As my future goes I don’t know what I’m doing yet and I have a lot of options open, but if Wigan want me I’m good to stay,” said Hansen.
“I have another year - it’s in their option - we’re trying to sort something out now and see what happens.”
Wigan are already losing Pat Richards and Chris Tuson at the end of this season and last week, Shaun Wane spoke of his intention to retain the rest of the squad.
Hansen joins clubmate Richards in appearing for the Exiles in tomorrow’s International Origin Game against an England side featuring four Wigan players.
With World Cup selectors on the lookout ahead of this year’s tournament, Hansen –who starred for Samoa in the 2008 tournament - insists the fixture is as important for the Exiles as it is for England.
“I think it will be a high performance game,” he said.
“The Exiles squad are fighting to make it for their own countries so it’s thrust in the limelight.
“It’s great to be put on show and show everyone what we can do.”
Wigan have been joined by two other clubs in the race for Leigh’s highly rated forward Sam Hopkins.
Hopkins,23, could become Wigan’s second mid-season signing of 2013 following the addition of former Wales RU forward Andy Powell from Sale Sharks, as
exclusively revealed in our sister paper, the Wigan Observer.
Centurions director Andrew Mazey confirmed the board of directors will meet to discuss the bids but would only confirm that one of the interested clubs is the Warriors.
Hopkins can play prop or second row and his capture would fill the void left by Chris Tuson when he leaves for Wakefield at the end of the Super League season.