Wigan Athletic boss on Wildschut/McManaman ‘interest’!

Paul Cook in pre-season training at Euxton
Paul Cook in pre-season training at Euxton

Paul Cook admits Wigan Athletic are seeking an X Factor signing to give everyone a boost ahead of the new campaign, which kicks-off one month from today.

And he’s refused to rule out the possibility of former fan favourites Yanic Wildschut and Callum McManaman making an emotional return to the DW!

Cook has already been active this summer, making three new signings – Kal Naismith (Portsmouth) Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (Peterborough) and Reece James (Chelsea) – as well as re-signing Christian Walton, Jamie Jones, Alex Bruce and Gary Roberts.

But Latics have also been linked with what would be an audacious swoop for either Wildschut or McManaman, who have been made available by Norwich and Sunderland respectively.

And the manager has initriguingly left the door open to the possibility!

When asked whether the players were on his radar, he told the Wigan Post: “These markets are what they are.

“Our fans will appreciate we want to make them happy, and make signings that are going to excite us all.

“As a manager, it’s pointless to just be bringing in five players saying ‘we’re all right’.

“The lads you’ve spoken about there (Wildschut and McManaman), are both still held in very high regard here in Wigan.

“Are we after them? We’re after all good players.

“Can we get them over the line? That remains to be seen.

“But we’ll certainly be doing our best to make our fans happy.”

When asked how many incomings he expected in total, Cook added: “We’ve not really got a figure in mind.

“We’ve got a very good squad, although we’re obviously short in the left-back area and we’re looking out there.

“We’re trying to be as active as we can be, and trying to keep the squad as balanced as we can.”

Meanwhile, Latics legend Graham Barrow is the new assistant manager of National League outfit Wrexham, while fellow old-boy Peter Atherton has joined the backroom staff of Barrow.