Wigan complete signing of Newcastle defender James Perch

27-year-old leaves Magpies after Joe Kinnear's announcement that players will be moved on

Newcastle's summer rebuilding programme began today with a departure as James Perch completed his move to Wigan.

The 27-year-old utility man has moved for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £700,000, and signed a four-year deal after being told he was free to leave St James' Park.

Perch told the Championship club's official website, wiganlatics.co.uk: "It feels great to be here with a new challenge ahead of me, and I'm very excited at getting that started."

It is a measure of how the former Nottingham Forest defender's career on Tyneside had blossomed that news of his impending exit was greeted with dismay by Magpies fans.

Perch arrived at St James' during the summer of 2010 as then manager Chris Hughton attempted to bolster his squad for life back in the Barclays Premier League.

He initially found the going tough - he was booked in each of his first five top-flight games and missed the sixth as a result - but gradually adapted to the pace and power of the higher division to prove an important member of the squad.

The Mansfield-born player's versatility proved a boon to Hughton's successor Alan Pardew, who played him at different times as a full-back, a central defender and a holding midfielder.

Perch made 37 senior appearances last season, eight of them in the Europa League, and scored his first and only goal for the club in a thrilling 4-3 league defeat at Manchester United on Boxing Day last year.

It is understood the player was keen to stay at Newcastle and fight for his place, and there is little doubt that Pardew has valued his contribution during his time as manager.

Pardew has been keen too to establish a stronger British presence within his squad and, for that reason, a deal which will have relatively little impact on the club's finances has puzzled many.

New director of football Joe Kinnear has made a series of pronouncements - most of them poorly received by supporters - since his shock appointment last month and, in one, he insisted he would move on players he did not believe were good enough.

It remains to be seen if Perch fell into that category, and if the Magpies will replace him with a player they consider to be better.

Movement has been slow on the incoming front, with the club having shelved a move for FC Twente defender Douglas on which they had been working for more than a year while St Etienne striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang seems certain to opt for German side Borussia Dortmund.

Newcastle have an interest in Aston Villa frontman Darren Bent, but have little intention of matching the Midlands club's current valuation of the 29-year-old, while West Ham defender James Tomkins has also been mentioned in dispatches.

However, it should not be forgotten that owner Mike Ashley fast-tracked swoops for Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran in January with the club engaged in a desperate fight for top-flight survival, and those signings, as well as the three others which accompanied them, may well have had a knock-on effect for this summer's budget.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power