Vultures starting to circle Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic are preparing themselves for incoming bids for a number of their prize assets now their relegation to League One has been rubber-stamped.

Antonee Robinson
Antonee Robinson

It was always odds-against their club winning their appeal against the EFL’s decision to deduct 12 points for being placed into administration last month.

But with £6million difference in TV money between the second and third tiers, Latics rolled the dice and lost – which ended up costing them an extra £500,000 in legal costs.

The drop into League One will also directly affect the money they can expect to receive for two of their most saleable stars.

Left-back Antonee Robinson – who saw a proposed £6million January move to AC Milan fall through at the 11th hour – was always going to be a sought-after man.

And the stampede will be even greater given the asking price is now only around a third of that £6million figure, thanks to a relegation clause in his contract.

Midfielder Joe Williams – who also joined from Everton last summer – has a similar clause in his deal, which means Latics can expect to receive no more than £2.5million for his services.

Latics have already accepted an offer in the region of £2million from QPR for Wales international striker Kieffer Moore – around half a million less than they paid Barnsley last summer.

But the big man is thought to prefer a move elsewhere, with Cardiff City, Derby, Millwall and Preston also linked.

Cardiff and Millwall are also reportedly in for attacker Jamal Lowe, although Celtic’s interest is believed to be stronger for a player who cost around £2million from Portsmouth 12 months ago.

And centre-back Cedric Kipre’s sensational form in the second half of the season put him on the radar of West Ham, with David Moyes an interested spectator at Wigan’s final away game at Charlton.

Leeds United are expected to complete a £1million deal for Young England forward Joe Gelhardt this week, meaning the squad could be thin on the ground when they report back for training next week.

With Danny Fox, Chey Dunkley, Lewis Macleod, Anthony Pilkington, Michael Jacobs and Gary Roberts also out of contract – and the club not in a position to be offering new deals while in administration – it’s a painful reminder the pain inflicted by the recent change in ownership will be felt for some time to come.

Meanwhile, Paul Cook looks set to miss out on the Bristol City job, with interim Dean Holden expected to be appointed on a permanent basis.