Update from Wigan Athletic boss Kolo Toure on Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt hunt

Wigan Athletic remain determined to bring Joe Gelhardt back from Leeds United - despite missing the cut-off for being involved in this weekend's game against Luton.

Latics thought they'd managed to agree a deal earlier this week for the 20-year-old to return to the DW on loan for the rest of the campaign.

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The player himself is understood to be desperate to rejoin the club he left in the summer of 2020 - shortly after Latics were placed into administration - to aid their survival bid.

Wigan Athletic want to re-sign Joe Gelhardt on loan for the rest of the season

However, a 12-hour hitch – unforeseen at the Wigan end – has put things temporarily on hold.

Finances are not thought to be the stumbling block, with Latics having the funds to meet the requirements of the deal.

It’s believed a number of clubs - at home and abroad - higher up the food chain have come forward to muddy the waters.

In Latics' favour is his strong affinity to Wigan, whom he joined as a 10-year-old and then became the most prized graduate from the club's Academy.

While he trained with the rest of the Leeds squad as usual on Friday morning, Latics remain hopeful he will end up here before too long.

Latics boss Kolo Toure was asked about the situation during his pre-Luton media conference on Friday afternoon.

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"As you know there is a lot of speculation during this month," he said. "And we have people working very, very hard behind the scenes to make things happen.

"It is very difficult for us to speak about some of the things that are going on.

"For me, all I can focus on is a very important game coming up for us this weekend.

"But I've heard a lot of good things about him, he is obviously a really, really good player, who has scored a lot of goals.

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"Technically he is very, very good, and he is a great guy as well.

"Definitely, he is a player with big, big potential, but I can't say much more than that."

While Toure was speaking to the media, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch was doing likewise in West Yorkshire.

However, he maintained his policy of leaving transfer talk to others.

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He only confirmed: "Joe Gelhardt is still in the building. He trained today."

Latics have a 16-day break after the visit of Luton, due to the FA Cup fourth round next weekend.