Tuesday, July 21, 2009

James McCarthy signs for Wigan

Hamilton and Ireland u21 midfielder James McCarthy has agreed a four-year contract to join Wigan Athletic for a fee of about £1.2m rising to £3m depending on appearances.

Wigan's English top-flight rivals Wolves also had an offer accepted by the Scottish Premier League club.

Accies chairman Ronnie MacDonald told BBC Scotland: "James is a superb prospect and I know Roberto Martinez and Wigan will look after him."

Wigan expect the deal for the 18-year-old to be concluded within 24 hours.

Promoted Wolves were the first club to agree a fee, but once Wigan joined the race it meant it would be down to the player to choose a preferred destination.

Tottenham Hotspur made a late expression of interest, while Celtic manager Tony Mowbray admitted that his club were being priced out of the race after they, Burnley and Portsmouth had bids rejected earlier this summer.

And it appears to have been manager Martinez's promise of involvement in the first-team squad that tipped the balance in favour of Wigan.

McCarthy, who rejected a transfer to Liverpool in 2007 and was also linked with Chelsea, received no such guarantees from Premier League rivals Spurs or Wolves.

He told Accies' website: "I had an absolutely brilliant time at Accies. The club have been tremendous with me."

The Ireland Under-21 international travelled to Wigan on Monday and will join his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Austria.

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