Bruce is expected to finalise his move in the next few days once formal permission to speak to Latics chairman Dave Whelan has been granted by the City board.
The former Cardiff player said: "Steve Bruce has got a brilliant squad together and the lads all want to play and battle for each other and the manager and there has been a great spirit. The news that the manager seems likely to be going is devastating for all of us. The lads are all shocked."
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