Two expected in this week - Wigan Athletic chief
That’s according to chief executive Mal Brannigan, who says it’s been all hands to the pump in recent weeks to assemble a squad capable of competing next season – pretty much from scratch.
Latics finished last term with only five senior players – Tom Pearce, Luke Robinson, Adam Long, Thelo Aasgaard and Callum Lang – under contract beyond this summer.
That became six when Gavin Massey activated a 12-month extension, with Will Keane and Jamie Jones since penning new deals and Jack Whatmough joining from Portsmouth.
Clearly Latics are still miles behind their League One rivals, and Brannigan admits it’s been a hectic start to life in the job.
“From a playing squad perspective, we obviously started with very few players being contacted for next year,” he told Wigan Today.
“We have been working very hard behind the scenes, as you would imagine, to get some players in.
“Some of that work has already come to fruition in terms of signing contracts, and there will always be other deals bubbling under, maybe one or two that will take fans a little bit by surprise.
“We’re looking at players on long-term deals, short-term deals and also the loan market. But what we’d like to do primarily is to get players we want in for the next couple of years, and get them settled early.
“I would certainly hope there’ll be another couple signed up by the end of this week, and therefore joining us ahead of pre-season.”
Ipswich winger Gwion Edwards is understood to be one of the imminent arrivals at the DW.
The Welshman - who scored against Latics on the opening day of last season - had been offered a new deal by Paul Cook, but is believed to favour a move to Wigan.
Edwards' capture would be one back for Latics after Lee Evans opted to join the Tractor Boys last week.
It had been hoped Evans and George Johnston - who has joined Bolton - would be staying at the DW, but Brannigan says economics have to come into play.
“Our offers were at the level we were happy with,” he explained.
“Beyond that, if the offers are higher elsewhere, then so be it.
“Sometimes players move because they want to seek a different challenge, at a different point in their career.
“In terms of those two players (Evans and Johnston), and maybe others, that can happen.
“But there is a reason for that, and sometimes that reason is not always within our control.”
Meanwhile, striker Kyle Joseph is understood to be close to completing a move to Championship outfit Swansea.
The Scotland Under-19 international is now a free agent, but Latics would receive a decent fee for their role in his development.