Middlesbrough medical for Wigan Athletic skipper
Wigan Athletic captain Sam Morsy is booked in for a medical at Middlesbrough on Friday after the two clubs agreed a fee.
The move would be the latest hammer-blow for a club - and a fanbase - that has been on its knees since being placed into administration on July 1.
Morsy - who turned 29 on Thursday - was left out of the squad that played in the first round of the Carabao Cup at Fleetwood last weekend.
And he will join Neil Warnock's Teessiders, who have beaten off several other Championship clubs to capture the Egypt international, on the eve of the EFL campaign.
That would leave Kal Naismith as the only survivor from the side which drew 1-1 against Fulham on the final day of last season only seven weeks ago.
But it wouldn’t come as a shock to Latics caretaker manager Leam Richardson, who recently admitted huge surprised Morsy hadn’t already been picked up by a rival.
“Sammy Morsy is as professional a person as you’ll find within football,” he said.
“What will be for Sam will be – and that goes for every single player – because we can’t control that for the minute.
“Personally I am surprised he’s still here, but we’ll see, we’ll watch this space.”
It’s been a less-than ideal lead-up to the new campaign – especially for Richardson, who has stepped up manfully to the fill the void left by Paul Cook’s departure.
“At the beginning, I addressed the whole group and told them I’d manage them with respect – as long as it’s reciprocated the other way,” he revealed.
“If lads are going to get opportunities to continue their careers at a level they belong, I don’t think it’s fair that I ask them, and put emotional pressure on them, to stay for myself.
“Especially not when I can give them any kind of guarantees regarding the football club moving forwards.
“Sammy has my full respect, and he’s conducting himself as a proper captain and like a proper professional would.
“The situation is there for all to see. The club was put into administration through certain situations, we lost the appeal against the points deduction, and most of the squad have left to go and play at a level they deserve to be playing at.
“What is important now is that there’s a football club here, and that we represent the club as well as we can for the fans, by turning up every day and working as hard as possible.”