Ex-England defender training with Wigan Athletic

Steven Caulker playing against Latics for Cardiff in 2013-14
Steven Caulker playing against Latics for Cardiff in 2013-14

Former England defender Steven Caulker is understood to be training with Wigan Athletic in the hope of winning a full-time contract.

The 26-year-old has been a free agent since parting company with SPL outfit Dundee at the end of last season.

And despite having been linked with Championship big guns Aston Villa, the Wigan Post understands Caulker has joined up with the Latics squad at Euxton.

Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre have been the ever-present central defensive partnership in the league this term, in the absence of Dan Burn, who broke a foot in the final pre-season friendly at Rangers.

Burn is expected back in the fold in the next couple of weeks – although he is scheduled to move to Brighton in January – while Alex Bruce also provides able cover.

But Paul Cook still feels his squad is short in numbers, and will run the rule over Caulker before deciding if he’s worth having on board.

London-born Caulker came through the ranks at Tottenham, and represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympics before winning his only England cap later that year.

In the summer of 2013 he joined Cardiff for £8million, and played every minute of all 38 Premier League games in his first season, although he was unable to prevent them being relegated back to the Championship.

He joined QPR in 2014 and, after loan spells at Southampton and Liverpool, moved to Dundee in February this year.

Despite originally penning a deal until next summer, he exercised a release clause on transfer deadline day that saw him become a free agent.

The player admitted last summer, in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, his career had been adversely affected by problems with alcohol, gambling addiction and depression.

But if Latics boss Cook can tap into anything like the potential Caulker showed earlier in his career, he could prove to be a shrewd capture.