Nathan Byrne has revealed for the first time his desire to secure his long-term future at Wigan Athletic.
The 26-year-old – the reigning Player of the Season – is out of contract at the end of the campaign and, as things stand, would be able to speak to other clubs with a view to a free transfer at the beginning of next month.
But after reinventing himself this term as a right-sided forward player, Byrne says his preference would be to commit his long-term future to the club – and talks are already well under way with a view to staying on.
“I’m really enjoying my football here, I love this club as a whole,” he told the Wigan Post.
“Me and the manager are talking at the moment, and hopefully we can get something sorted out.
“We’ll wait and see what happens, but I would be delighted to stay on.”
Byrne is in his third season at Wigan, but says he feels more settled than at any stage of his professional career.
“This is the longest club I’ve been at since I was a kid at Tottenham,” he acknowledged.
“I’ve bounced round everywhere, I spent three years out on loan at various clubs, and finally I’m settled here at Wigan.
“I come from the south but I enjoy living in the north - and the most important thing is enjoying my football, which I am here.”
Skipper Sam Morsy and star man Nick Powell are also out of contract at the end of the season, with boss Paul admitting secure their signatures is ‘a priority’ now the protracted takeover of the club has been completed.