transfer talk

Whelan insists Wigan's stars will not be sold off

January 17, 2010

Dave Whelan has insisted Wigan will sell none of their major players during the January transfer window.

Hugo Rodallega
GettyImagesHugo Rodallega scored Wigan's second goal when they beat Chelsea 3-1 earlier this season

Leading scorer Hugo Rodallega has been linked with a £10 million move to Stoke and there has been speculation about the future of winger Charles N'Zogbia, who scored in Saturday's 2-0 win at Wolves.

Club owner Whelan is adamant he would never prevent any of his players from moving to one of the big clubs. But he is equally determined no-one will leave this month as Wigan try to ensure their top-flight status after ending a run of five games without a win at Molineux.

Whelan said: "We have got quality players, who will go to top-six teams, but not until the end of the season. We are Wigan, we have to buy and sell players, and you can't stop a lad going up to the top level, the top six teams, and I would never do that.

"Two or three of our lads will go to big clubs and I never stand in their way.

"We don't want to sell Hugo, full stop but we are Wigan and have to be sensible. But there is no chance of selling Hugo in the window. We are selling no-one in the window.

"Those kind of players are the difference between staying up and getting relegated. You've got to score goals to stay up. He is just brilliant, that lad, a wonderful player.

"Rodallega could have had two or three goals against Wolves. He is so quick but it wouldn't go in for him. He is normally lethal as a striker and is a real handful.

"There is a World Cup coming up and I've said to the lads 'go and play in it and, once you are outstanding in the World Cup, the big clubs come calling'.

"The manager (Roberto Martinez) is building his squad. We have moved two or three players out. He is happy with what he has moved out and what has come in so now hopefully we can go on and make our Premier League position safe.''

Victory for the Latics moved them three points clear of Wolves, with James McCarthy scoring the opener on his Barclays Premier League debut after also netting in the FA Cup win against Hull in his previous game.

Ironically, the 19-year-old came close to agreeing a move to Wolves from Hamilton last summer before deciding to move to Wigan.

McCarthy said: "It is a dream come true for me to go and play in the Premier League and get a goal in my first start. I did nearly sign for Wolves. I went down and looked at Wolves. It is a great club but these kind of things happen.

"Wigan came in at the last minute. It was a hard decision to go for one or the other. I spoke to Graeme Jones, the assistant manager, and he was at Hamilton with me, and the way he spoke to me and told me about this club, I was happy with my decision.''