Exclusive: Wigan Athletic rocked as vice-captain asks to leave the DW

Wigan Athletic have been rocked by vice-captain Callum Lang asking to leave the DW Stadium.
Callum Lang's future may well lie away from the DW Stadium after Latics' vice-captain declared a desire to leaveCallum Lang's future may well lie away from the DW Stadium after Latics' vice-captain declared a desire to leave
Callum Lang's future may well lie away from the DW Stadium after Latics' vice-captain declared a desire to leave

The 25-year-old Academy product has come through the ranks to become an integral part of the furniture.

Read More
Shaun Maloney cites two things he 'loved' during Wigan Athletic's incredible lat...

He played a central role in the club pulling off the greatest of Great Escapes in 2020-21, before contributing 15 goals and eight assists the following season as Latics won the League One title.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, this term he has cut an increasingly frustrated figure as others around him have stepped up as team leaders.

Lang was dropped to the bench for the recent FA Cup tie with Manchester United, appearing only as a substitute in stoppage-time with the game gone.

His subsequent absence was put down to a legitimate calf strain which has now cleared up.

But speaking exclusively to Wigan Today, Latics boss Shaun Maloney has revealed the move in goalposts that could see the popular Liverpudlian leaving for pastures new.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Yeah, the situation with Callum has changed slightly," said Maloney. "Physically he is now fine, he has recovered from the calf strain he picked up last week.

"But he wants to go to another club. We've spoken about it, and so we'll have to wait for that situation to be resolved.

"I have nothing whatsoever negative to say about Callum. He's a brilliant boy, came through our Academy, did absolutely brilliantly for me last year, and played when he wasn't being paid.

"So I've got nothing but total respect for him...but obviously we have to find a solution to this situation. Until we do, he won't be involved in the squad."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When asked whether he'd been shocked by the development, Maloney replied: "Nothing really surprises you in football.

"I think what's really good is I think I've always had a very honest relationship with Callum, and he can tell me pretty much anything, my door is always open to him.

"I knew last summer there would be interest in Callum, during the whole change of ownership, but we managed to keep hold of him.

"This window...look, nothing shocks you...whatever his decision is, we just have to try to find a solution, whatever his wishes are.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"There have been some clubs contacting us already...there's been a verbal offer. But we have to wait to see if anything develops and, until then, I still hope we have him when the transfer window closes.

"If we still have him in our squad, I will be absolutely delighted, and he'll be back playing in our team in no time.

"In the meantime, I will treat him like any other player, he'll train every day with us, everything remains the same...he just won't be in the matchday squad."

Do Latics have a price in mind that would need to be hit?

"I'd imagine there will be," said Maloney. "I think that's obviously going to lie with Gregor (Rioch) - that's his role - along with the chairman (Ben Goodburn), in terms of prices and negotiations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"My role is to keep talking to the player, and I've got no problem with Langy, the connection I have with him is still there."

Maloney was also asked whether he would like the situation sorted out as quickly as possible - in order to identify a possible replacement.

"You can't really control these things," he added. "I said to Callum that I respected his wishes, and I have no plans to push him in any kind of direction.

"Unless a club submits an official bid that Gregor is happy with, and the chairman, for me he's going to stay our player...and I hope it stays that way.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But I also respect his wishes, and if we can come to an arrangement where all parties are very happy - I wouldn't say we'd be very happy to be losing him - we have to deal with it."

Lang has scored 31 goals in 143 appearances for Latics.

League One frontrunners Portsmouth are understood to have registered their interest, although Leam Richardson’s recent arrival at Championship strugglers Rotherham could make the Millers favourites for his signature – if the price is right.