UWE Rosler has delivered the strongest hint yet that Nick Powell will be seeing out his loan deal at Wigan Athletic.
Powell’s future has been the subject of feverish speculation, amid rumours that Manchester United will recall the forward halfway through his season-long loan deal.
Rosler last week dismissed such talk, insisting he’d heard nothing from United chief David Moyes to suggest that was the case.
The German has held further talks with Moyes regarding Powell, who is Wigan’s top goalscorer this term with eight goals. And while stopping short of confirming Powell is definitely staying, he cryptically suggested the outcome of his most recent conversation with Moyes had been positive.
“I have had more good dialogue with David Moyes, and I know where we are,” Rosler told the Evening Post.
“That’s all I can say for now. But look at my face – I am smiling – so that tells you it’s not the worst news. That says something.”
Powell was again outstanding yesterday as Latics ground out a 1-0 victory at Derby that puts them just three points off the play-offs with a game still in hand and half of the campaign to come.
The England Under-21s ace carried the ball fully 50 yards with three defenders around him to win a 68th-minute corner, from which Jean Beausejour grabbed the only goal with a fabulous strike.
“Nick worked very, very hard for the team,” Rosler said. “I know he can play even better, but he is still coming back from injury and I’m delighted he’s here.”
Rosler also confirmed the departure of two players that will exacerbate his need for fresh blood this month.
Ryan Shotton has returned to Stoke after his four-month loan deal expired.
And Will Keane is back at Manchester United after a month-long stay, although Rosler is not closing the door on the Old Trafford youngster just yet.
“Will is back at Manchester United due to a groin injury,” Rosler revealed.
“But we will continue to monitor his situation throughout January – we’ll see.”
The Wigan chief could be in for a busy month, after admitting there has been interest in more than one of his players from potential predators.
“We have received enquiries for one or two players, and we will have to make decisions regarding that,” he added.
“Some of them only have six months remaining on their contracts, and there is a value on that.”