Wigan manager Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed red tape will not scupper his bid to sign South Korea midfielder Cho Won-hee.
The 25-year-old has impressed during a trial with the Latics this week after his contract with Korean side Suwon Bluewings expired but Cho has not featured in 75% of international matches due to injury, which may ruin his chances of acquiring a work permit.
Bruce said: "The problem we have got is the work permit criteria because, unfortunately, he missed a big chunk of the international games."
He added: "About 10 months ago they had six qualifying games in the space of a month and he missed the lot of them because of injury.
"We have weighed that up and will put our case to them on Monday and hope we can get him in them.
"It (the criteria) stands in our way because it would be a damn sight easier without it.
"There are rules and we have to abide by them but it has become a bit of a problem."
Bruce has brought in a number of players from Central and South America in the last year but he stressed the club could not afford to take their eye off opportunities elsewhere.
"We work extremely hard and we've got to. I would love to sign six or seven Lee Cattermoles (bought from Middlesbrough for Â£3million in the summer)," he added.
"You find me them in this country where I can buy 20-year-olds for Â£3million then I'd willingly do that, but we obviously can't so we have to spread the net a bit further and be adventurous."
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