League One rivals Wigan make statement with Wyke signing
- Credit: Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic have made their ambitions known ahead of the new League One season with the signing of Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke.
Wyke was understood to be of interest to the likes of Celtic, Blackpool, Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Middlesbrough after scoring 31 goals across all competitions last season.
However, the 28-year-old - who turned down a new deal at The Stadium of Light - has opted to stay in the third-tier and join Wigan's regeneration project.
The upwardly mobile Latics' squad which Paul Cook assembled was completely dismantled following a shock administration and Championship relegation in 2020. Against the odds, Leam Richardson, Cook's previous long-term assistant, was able to prevent them suffering the double drop and now the picture at the DW Stadium has completely changed following a takeover.
Under Bahraini group Phoenix 2021 Limited, they have already been very active in the transfer market, signing Jordan Cousins (Stoke), Tom Naylor (Portsmouth), Max Power (Sunderland), Jack Whatmough (Portsmouth) and Ben Amos (Charlton) on Bosman free transfers.
It's understood that Whatmough, Power and Wyke were among dozens of players discussed internally by Ipswich during the early stages of the transfer window, with that being the extent of their interest.
"I’m delighted," said Wyke. "I’ve been speaking to the club for a few weeks and from the day I met the manager, I knew this was the club I wanted to play for.
"The way he (Leam) sold the club to me, and how he said he could get the best out of me, I thought this was the best place for my career going forward.
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"The club ticks all the boxes in terms of how they want to play, the stadium and the fans. I can’t wait to get started now and hopefully it’s a long, successful spell for me."