Wigan Athletic on verge of deal for Honduras international Roger Espinoza

Contract with MLS side Sporting Kansas City expires at end of year

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Roger Espinoza will prove a huge asset to the Latics after confirming a deal for the Sporting Kansas City player is close to being completed.

The 26-year-old has long been linked with a move to the DW Stadium and is set to swap Major League Soccer for the Barclays Premier League when his MLS contract expires at the end of this month.

Espinoza is a versatile player who can play in either defence or midfield and he impressed at this summer's Olympics with Honduras, in particular in his performance against Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Martinez said: "We're working really hard to try to make it happen and we're looking forward to seeing if we can get that one done successfully.

"There are a few steps: there is the work permit, there are certain aspects we need to fulfil in the paperwork but Roger is a player that we've been following for a long, long time.

"We've seen him enjoying his football in the Olympic Games recently with Honduras, and in the World Cup as well he's been an important part of that group of players with (Wigan defender) Maynor Figueroa. He would be a real asset for us.

"But until January 1 it's something we can't do any more than wait on and make sure we prepare ourselves for the steps we've got ahead to make him a Wigan Athletic player."

Reinforcements cannot come quickly enough for Martinez, who is set to be without eight players for Saturday's meeting with QPR through a combination of injury and suspension.

Gary Caldwell must serve a one-match ban after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season while fellow defender Figueroa also sits out the key clash.

The Honduras international was sent off in the 12th minute of Monday's 3-0 defeat by Newcastle at St James' Park for a tackle on Papiss Cisse.

Figueroa was deemed to have denied the striker a clear goalscoring opportunity, and the Football Association upheld the decision this week, turning down Wigan's appeal.

The Latics felt their defender was doubly harshly treated given the challenge was shoulder to shoulder and the ball rolled through to keeper Ali Al Habsi.

Martinez said: "I just felt that we were very unfortunate with the decision on the day but, from Maynor Figueroa's point of view, he was devastated.

"All he did was challenge for a ball that he was entitled to and from then on he gets a penalty, we concede from it, and then he gets sent off. That's punishment enough in my eyes, but then he has to carry a ban for the next game.

"So we had to do everything we could to try to give Maynor a little bit of fairness. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case and in football you just move on. We accept the decision and we'll get ready for Saturday now."

Martinez believes the interpretation of the rule is seeing players punished too harshly for tackles and has called on the footballing authorities to look at it.

The Spaniard said: "The rule is clear in terms of if it's a clear goalscoring opportunity and you're the last man, it's a red card.

"Then obviously there's the interpretation of the referee, and we don't make it easy for referees because there's so much you have to take in in a split second. But I think bringing a bit of common sense into that rule would be important.

"I think the authorities should look into it. The last thing you want is to be punished so much for what could be an innocuous challenge or a fair challenge to compete for the ball. Football is a contact sport and will always be."

PA

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little