New contracts for star man Nick Powell and skipper Sam Morsy are a ‘priority’ for Wigan Athletic, according to newly-installed executive chairman Darren Royle.
Speaking publicly about his role for the first time since the club was taken over from the Whelan family by International Entertainment Corporation, Royle is well aware of the anxiety among Latics supporters regarding the status of the influential duo.
And he says work is well under way to secure the future of the players who, as things stand, can speak to rival clubs in January with a view to agreeing Bosman free transfers for next summer.
“Without going into too much detail, it is a priority, to find out what the players want,” said Royle.
“Obviously it’s important to the fans to try and get a resolution as quickly as possible.
“It’s certainly something we’re working on.”
Royle – son of former Everton and Manchester City striker Joe, who is also on the new Latics board of directors – says it’s not a process that is starting from scratch, with outgoing chairman David Sharpe having already tested the waters prior to his departure.
“I think it is an ongoing situation,” Royle revealed.
“David has already been in discussions, and hopefully there’ll be more news on that as it happens.”
With Premier League and European clubs circling Powell in particular, Royle knows what a statement of intent it would be to secure his coveted signature.
“Nick’s a great talent...and we’ll just have to try our best to please everyone on that one,” he recognised.
Royle also reiterated the vision of IEC chief executive Melvin Yan Min Zhang, who last week signalled his intention for Latics to aim for a return to the Premier League ‘as soon as possible’.
“Of course it is the aim – it’s got to be,” added Royle.
“I don’t think you can aim to consolidate in the Championship.
“I think the fans here at Wigan are slightly different in that they expect to also see a brand of football, a style of football, that is exciting to watch, which certainly they’ve been treated to under Paul Cook.
“But the main target is the Premier League.
“Anyone who doesn’t have that as a target...you’d have to question their motives really.”