Wigan Athletic close in on League One hotshot
Wigan Athletic are understood to be closing in on the capture of League One goal machine Charlie Wyke.
The 28-year-old Teessider is a free agent after his contract with Sunderland expired last week.
After 42 goals in 114 appearances for the Black Cats, he was offered a new deal at the Stadium of Light.
But his future lies elsewhere, following an emotional farewell to the Sunderland fans on social media.
"Thank you to the Sunderland fans who supported me from day one, and good luck for the future," he wrote.
Scottish giants Celtic had been thought to be leading the chase for his signature ahead of several Championship clubs – before Latics entered the equation.
And sources in the north east believe Latics - under new owners Phoenix 2021 Limited - are now red-hot favourites for his signature.
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson admitted the biggest lure could come from one of their rivals for promotion.
“There’s a lot of people talking in the Championship but who aren’t in a great place in terms of being able to commit to players financially," he said.
“They seem to have been hit the hardest and in some cases, it’s the League One clubs who seem to be the largest spenders.”
Latics have been monitoring another Sunderland striker, Will Grigg, who also looks certain to leave this summer but who has 12 months remaining on his contract.
The attraction of picking up Wyke without shelling out a fee may have proved more attractive, with manager Leam Richardson still having only 15 senior players on the books despite a busy summer of recruitment.