GARY Caldwell has sensationally revealed he was offered the chance to bring Jordi Gomez back to Wigan Athletic on transfer deadline day.
But the Latics chief was forced to make the tough call to walk away from the deal, given the ‘difficult’ financial implications involved.
Gomez was made available by Premier League Sunderland, whom he joined from Wigan in the summer of 2014, having been deemed surplus to requirements by Sam Allardyce.
In the end, the silky Spaniard did move to the north west on deadline day, joining Blackburn Rovers on loan until the end of the season.
But Caldwell has lifted the lid on the chain of events that almost brought the fans’ favourite - and Player of the Year in 2013/14 - back to the DW Stadium.
“Jordi’s agent did give us a call, and it was there,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“But I felt we were fine in that area, and financially it was a difficult one to do.
“Jordi is a player I obviously played with, and know the quality he has.
“It would have been great to have him back...but it wasn’t to be.”
As a former team-mate of Gomez between 2010-2014, Caldwell had to put personal feelings to one side and make a business decision with his manager’s hat on.
“I work for the football club, and I have to do the right thing for the football club - that’s what I get paid to do,” he acknowledged.
“If it doesn’t make sense financially, then we’re not going to do it.
“We have to work within certain budgets, and we have done that.
“We’ve only signed players who fit into our pay scale and what we’re trying to do in terms of the age group and the potential we want to bring in.
“It’s a long-term process and many different things come into it.”
That said, Caldwell left the door open on the possibility of resurrecting a deal this summer - IF Latics win promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.
“You never know - in football you have to be open to everything,” he added.
“We’ll look at that in the summer, when hopefully we will have that problem.”