Wigan Athletic 'have the power' in future of loan striking star
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson admits Wigan Athletic 'have the power' when it comes to the future of striker Stephen Humphrys.
The 25-year-old joined the Scottish outfit last summer on a season-long loan, after falling down the pecking order at the DW Stadium.
He scored his third goal for the club against Hibernian on Monday after more than two months out injured, and has become a fans’ favourite in Edinburgh.
With the landscape at Wigan having changed in recent weeks, with Kolo Toure taking over from Leam Richardson, it remains to be seen what will happen during the transfer window.
Neilson is hoping Latics do not trigger an early recall clause in his contract, but admits he's helpless in the matter.
Asked if any moves were afoot to land Humphrys on a permanent contract, Neilson said: “He’s got 18 months left at Wigan so it’s not something we would do just now.
"But potentially in the summer, we might look at that.
“Wigan have an option to take him back this month so we’re waiting to see about that.
"It’s not in our hands. We’re desperate to keep him and I know Stephen’s desperate to stay here
"But ultimately the parent club have the power.”
Latics also have winger Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) and midfielder Jamie McGrath (Dundee United) out on similar season-long loans, and it remains to be seen what will happen with them also.
On the flip side, Latics are vulnerable should parent clubs Everton, Watford and Huddersfield want to recall Nathan Broadhead, Ashley Fletcher and Rarmani Edmonds-Green respectively.