Jackson: We’re working on deals to tie down stars

Wigan Player Franco Di Santo celebrates his goal against Stoke
Wigan Player Franco Di Santo celebrates his goal against Stoke

JONATHAN Jackson has assured Wigan Athletic fans that everything is being done to tie down the club’s out-of-contract stars.

Franco di Santo, Antolin Alcaraz and Maynor Figueroa are just three of the players who have entered the final 12 months of their current deals.

As things stand, they would be able to talk to rival clubs in just four months’ time about a Bosman free transfer next summer.

However, Latics remain hopeful of persuading all three that their long-term futures lie at the DW – and the chief executive says it’s far too early for panic.

“There is a lot of time before that would ever become a major concern,” Jackson told the Evening Post.

“We have been talking with some players who are coming up to the end of their contracts now for 18 months, and that will continue.

“It would be unfair for me to comment too much at this stage, because it’s still early. But we’re not unduly concerned.

“At the moment, we’re just concentrating on getting off to a great start in the league, and whatever will happen will happen.”

The precarious position of players entering the final year of their contracts reared its head recently when Arsenal were forced to cash in on Robin van Persie rather than lose him for nothing next summer.

And Jackson accepts it’s a common problem for clubs up and down the country.

“In modern football, it’s not important just to bring top players in – you have to keep hold of the top players you already have,” he added.

“That doesn’t mean just preventing them from being transferred to another team. It means securing their contracts so they can’t walk away as free agents.

“We want to keep all of our quality players here. But it’s not always possible, as we saw last season.

“The players have a lot of power these days, and they have the right to see out their contracts and then have a look at their options.

“You try to do what is right for the football club, but you can only do what is possible.

“But if a player wants to stay at Wigan Athletic, that makes it all the more easier.”