Wigan plot Sharp move

Billy Sharp. Picture: Andrew Roe
Billy Sharp. Picture: Andrew Roe

WIGAN Athletic could be poised to enter the race for Billy Sharp.

The Doncaster Rovers striker is already being courted by a number of Championship clubs ahead of next month’s transfer window.

But Roberto Martinez will test their resolve to keep one of the division’s most-coveted marksman should he decide Sharp possesses the qualities required to lead his team towards Premier League safety.

The Wigan manager is believed to have included Sharp on a list of possible targets as he looks to boost the firepower at his disposal.

Leicester City, Cardiff, Southampton, Burnley and Ipswich Town are also known to be monitoring the 25-year-old’s situation at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers’ Yorkshire rivals Hull City have also cast admiring glances in Sharp’s direction but fear being dragged into a costly bidding war.

Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion have cut short Marc-Antoine Fortune’s loan spell with Dean Saunders’ side.

Fortune has forged a potent partnership with Sharp since arriving from The Hawthorns but has been recalled to strengthen the options at Roy Hodgson’s disposal.

George Thorne (Portsmouth) and Gonzalo Jara Reyes (Brighton) have also been summoned home amid concerns about the number of injuries within the Albion camp following their 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.

Ipswich and Southampton have both failed in the past with bids for Sharp.

But that has not persuaded them to look elsewhere with the latter choosing to continue their pursuit despite his decision to reject a move to St Mary’s during the close season.

Speaking at the time, Rovers chairman John Ryan said: “Billy didn’t want to go and we are delighted.

“It’s not just the goals he scores, he’s a big figure at the club and his enthusiasm is infectious.

“Billy told me he loves it here but he is very ambitious and said he would have to seriously consider a move if a Premier League club came in for him

“If we are progressing as a club then he will be happy.”

Rovers are 23rd in the table - two points adrift of safety - ahead of their visit to Burnley on Boxing Day.

The Lancastrians are 12th.