Vultures circling for Wigan Athletic star

Kal Naismith could well have played his last game for Wigan Athletic with ‘a few things happening in the background’ regarding a possible January transfer.

Friday, 1st January 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Friday, 1st January 2021, 11:28 am
Kal Naismith

The 28-year-old missed the midweek win at Burton with a niggling problem that caused his 77th-minute substitution against Shrewsbury on Boxing Day.

But acting manager Leam Richardson has also confirmed there are other factors at play which could see Naismith – out of contract at the end of the season – remaining unavailable for selection.

“Kal has had a bit of a knock, but there’s also a few things happening in the background as well,” Richardson admitted. “We’ll watch this space and see where we go from here.

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“It’s no secret clubs have been trying to take our players for a while. And Kal’s had options out there for a while.

“That will come down to Kal himself, and obviously the administrators, who’ll make the correct decision for the football club.

“Kal’s been a great servant for the football club, he’s worked very hard since he’s been here. Whatever happens from here, we wish him all the best anyway.”

Naismith is one of only five senior players – along with Jamie Jones, Tom Pearce, Lee Evans and Gavin Massey – still at the club from the squad which finished last season.

And given the continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing takeover, it would be no surprise to see others follow him out if suitable offers were received.

Jones, Evans and Massey are entering the last six months of their contracts, while Pearce’s deal runs until the summer of 2022.

It promises to be a hectic month on and off the pitch for Latics.

Matty Palmer is expected to return to Swindon at the end of his loan spell, to be reunited with John Sheridan – the man who brought him to Wigan in September.

Darnell Johnson (Leicester), Curtis Tilt (Rotherham) and Tom James (Hibernian) are also due back with their parent clubs unless extensions can be agreed.

Short-term deals signed by Will Keane, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Dan Gardner also expire this month, with boss Richardson keen to keep hold of all three.