'If offers are higher elsewhere, so be it' - Wigan CEO on losing Evans to Ipswich

Lee Evans signs for Ipswich Town

Lee Evans turned down a new deal at Wigan to join Ipswich Town - Credit: ITFC

Wigan chief executive Mal Brannigan has admitted finance may have played a part after his club lost midfielder Lee Evans to Ipswich Town. 

The Blues have signed the 26-year-old Welshman on a three-year contract, reuniting manager Paul Cook with a midfielder who served him well during his time in charge of the Latics. 

Wigan had offered Evans a new deal at the club, but the player ultimately opted to move, and had similarly hoped to keep defender George Johnston only to see him join Bolton recently. 

Wigan Athletic's Lee Evans (left) and Hull City's Mallik Wilks battle for the ball during the Sky Be

Evans, pictured during his Wigan days

While acknowledging players can often leave in search of a new challenge, Brannigan insisted finance may have played a part. 

“Our offers were at the level we were happy with,” he explained, in an interview with the Wigan Post. 

“Beyond that, if the offers are higher elsewhere, then so be it. 

“Sometimes players move because they want to seek a different challenge, at a different point in their career. 

Wigan Athletic chief executive Mal Brannigan prior to kick-off during the Sky Bet League One match a

Wigan Athletic chief executive Mal Brannigan - Credit: PA

“In terms of those two players (Evans and Johnston), and maybe others, that can happen. 

“But there is a reason for that, and sometimes that reason is not always within our control.” 

Wigan have already moved to keep former Ipswich striker Will Keane this summer, with the forward signing a new deal, while they have also signed winger Gwion Edwards at the end of his Town contract

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As well as signing Portsmouth duo Jack Whatmough and Tom Naylor, the Latics have also added Jordan Cousins and Max Power to their ranks after they left Stoke and Sunderland respectively.

It's understood Power was a player discussed by and of early interest to Cook, but the signing of Evans was always a much higher priority and the move for Power was not taken any further.