Wigan hoping to sign Newcastle defender

James Perch

James Perch

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WIGAN Athletic are closing in on a deal for Newcastle United’s James Perch.

The relegated club are understood to have tabled a bid for the 27-year-old, whose days at St James’s Park look numbered.

Perch has a year left on his United contract – and he hasn’t been offered a new deal.

The 27-year-old, signed from Nottingham Forest three years ago, had hoped to commit prolong his association with Newcastle.

The Mansfield-born player has proved invaluable to manager Alan Pardew. And Pardew, ideally, would want to keep Perch, whose versatility has been a strength to United over the past two seasons. He made 38 appearances in defence and midfield last term.

However, Perch is understood to be reconciled to the fact that his future almost certainly lies elsewhere, with no offer of a new contract having been forthcoming from the club.

Newcastle have made no comment on Wigan’s interest in Perch. However, any proposed deal would have to be sanctioned by the club’s new director of football, Joe Kinnear.

Kinnear has the final say on incoming and outgoing transfers, though he insisted after his controversial appointment that decisions would be taken after consulation with Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr.

After a difficult start to life at Newcastle after his move from the City Ground, Perch has grown in strength.

He was signed by Pardew’s predecessor Chris Hughton and has made 81 appearances for the club, scoring once.

New Wigan manager Owen Coyle, meanwhile, feels Perch’s experience and versatility, can help the club made a quick return to the Premier League.

However, a number of other clubs are understood to be monitoring the situation, and Coyle could face competition for Perch, who was linked with a move to Leicester City earlier in the summer.

Forest could also made a move for their former captain.