Wigan to fend off Scharner interest
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has urged Paul Scharner to see out his career with the club and nip in the bud potential speculation over his future in January.
Midfielder Scharner has made more Premier League appearances than any other Latics player, now 121, and is a firm favourite with the fans.
However, the quirky 29-year-old Austrian, famed for his bizarre haircuts and dress sense, is out of contract at the end of this season.
That puts Scharner in the shop window in January as he will be allowed the freedom to speak to other clubs and potentially sign a pre-contract agreement.
Naturally, though, Martinez is urging Scharner not to turn his back on Wigan after spending the last four years at the club following a bargain £2million move from Brann in January 2006.
"Paul is our longest-serving player, has a very good relationship with the club, and I've a very good relationship with him," said Martinez.
"But once you get to this situation, it's part of the rules that players can speak with other clubs and look at other options, and I'm sure that's what he's going to do. We need to accept it.
"In that respect we want Paul to stay, to finish his career with Wigan Athletic, and it's something we'll address when the situation occurs.
"We did speak about it in the summer, and we're in touch on a daily basis."
With a busy schedule looming of six matches in 23 days this month, Martinez is confident Scharner's attention will not be diverted by where his future may lie.
"Paul is an experienced man and is focused on Wigan," insisted the Spaniard.
"I'll tell you the truth, he's more focused on the six games we have this month than on his own future, and that's the way it should be.
"Overall, when you allow a contract to run down, it's one of those moments where a player wants to reflect on the future.
"He's been here a long, long time, so it's no bad thing to see how January develops and see what his thoughts are."
Latest in Sport
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Mario Balotelli's agent speaks as Brendan Rodgers swoops for German duo
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures