Wigan Athletic have emerged as surprise contenders to sign Charlie Wyke, who is now a free agent after his Sunderland contract expired, according to reporter Alan Nixon.
After two struggling seasons on Wearside, Wyke’s true goalscoring exploits came to fruition last season, scoring 31 goals in all competitions in 53 outings, and he especially formed a strong partnership with winger Aiden McGeady.
Whilst the Irishman remained at Sunderland though after signing a new deal, Wyke kept his options open as Championship interest emerged, with the likes of Nottingham Forest and his former club Middlesbrough seeing him as a transfer target.
But in recent weeks it is Scottish giants Celtic who have been seen as the favourites to land him, with the Hoops holding fresh talks with Wyke and his representatives in recent weeks according to the Northern Echo.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Wigan Athletic played each of these 25 teams?
Talk of Wyke moving north of the border has gone quiet recently though and with the striker now a free agent, it could be Wigan of all teams swooping for the 28-year-old.
According to Nixon, the Latics’ interest in Wyke is ‘very live’ and that their Bahraini owners could put the best financial terms out of anyone on the table for him.
That would throw a real spanner in the works when it comes to League One next season if they are able to tempt Wyke into staying in the third tier of English football – despite it looking like he would move on to a higher level.
Wigan have already taken a few players from potential League One promotion rivals this summer – but this would be the icing on top of the cake.
Obviously Wyke hasn’t proven to be a goalscorer on a consistent basis over three years at Sunderland, but he showed last season that given the right amount and quality of service then he can be a real menace.
A Championship move was expected, a potential switch to Celtic would have came as a surprise but not an unrealistic one, but staying in League One didn’t seem like an option at all and if he did you’d have imagined that Kyril Louis-Dreyfus would splash out to keep him at the Stadium of Light.
But if you believe Nixon then Wigan could now be the front-runners – and what a coup it would be to see Wyke at the DW Stadium in 2021-22.