Football

Bruce wants Heskey to stay

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Wigan will play hardball if necessary in a bid to keep Emile Heskey on their books until the end of the season at least.

The England striker has been linked with a move away in the January transfer window as he is out of contract in the summer.

Manager Steve Bruce, who says he has the full backing of chairman Dave Whelan, stated: "Emile is in his right but we have right to say "no". We still have three or four months to go until the end of the season."

He added: "It might cost us £4 or 5million but we have to weigh that up against the £30million we get next summer.

"I have not given up hope I can keep Emile here. The chairman has backed me 100% on every decision I have made and I would expect him to do exactly the same thing in this situation.

"It has got to be an outrageous offer for me to even consider going to the chairman. Where do we find a replacement when we could be in a bit of a relegation battle?

"We have the England centre forward. If we lose him in January, where does that leave us as a team and as a club.

"Even if we did get a big offer we would have to think if it was the right thing for the club. Obviously the prize is we stay in this division."

Bruce added: "We have only a small squad but we have a bit of quality in there. My problem is trying to keep hold of the ones I've got. That is going to be my biggest challenge.

"We have people here who are coveted by a lot of teams. We have some good players."

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Emile Heskey
Steve Bruce
Wigan Athletic

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