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Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Caldwell joins Wigan from Celtic

Former Celtic, now Wigan, defender Gary Caldwell

Celtic defender Gary Caldwell demonstrates the skills he will bring to Wigan

By Chris McLaughlin

Celtic defender Gary Caldwell has completed his transfer to English Premier League outfit Wigan.

The Scotland international, 27, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal for the Latics for an undisclosed fee.

"To play in the Premier League has always been an ambition of mine but I know how tough it's going to be to get in the side," he told Wigan's website.

"It's a massive wrench to leave Celtic but I want to thank the club and the fans for the support they've given me."

Caldwell, whose contract with the Scottish Premier League club was due to expire in the summer. appeared destined for a move to Middlesbrough to work with former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan.

But Wigan manager Roberto Martinez made a late bid for the centre-back, who was player of the year last season.

The defender looked poised to join Boro on Monday and join up with Strachan, along with midfielders Barry Robson and Willo Flood, plus striker Chris Killen.

Gary is a winner and will become a huge asset for Wigan Athletic

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez

Strachan signed Caldwell from Hibernian in 2006 under freedom of contract and was keen to recruit him for Boro's push for promotion from the English Championship.

However, Wigan are keen to bolster their porous defence and Caldwell said he was looking forward to making his Wigan debut.

"The manager made it quite clear what his ambitions are for this club and how much he wanted to bring me here," the defender said.

"To play in the Premier League has always been an ambition of mine but I know how tough it's going to be to get in the side and I need to focus on winning a place and doing the best I can for my new club.

"It's a massive wrench for me to leave a club like Celtic but I want to thank the club and all the fans for the support they've given me in my time there.

"But I'm a Wigan Athletic player now and I can't wait to get started in the Premier League."

Martinez said he was delighted with his latest signing, describing Caldwell as a leader who would prove an asset to the Wigan rearguard.

"He is exactly the right character we need at the club," added Martinez.

"Gary is a winner and will become a huge asset for Wigan Athletic. He is a commanding defender who will lead by example on and off the pitch.

"He has been part of a winning team at Celtic and brings with him great experience, having won league titles and cups, and played in the Champions League. I am excited to welcome him on board at Wigan Athletic."

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Wigan on Tuesday signed Ivory Coast defender Steven Gohouri until the end of the season following a successful trial after his departure from Borussia Monchengladbach in December.

On Monday, Celtic completed a £2m deal for AIK Stockholm defender Jos Hooiveld, who could fill the void left by Caldwell at the heart of the defence.

Wigan had been interested in Celtic striker Scott McDonald, but talks broke down last week between the clubs and the Australia international has since undergone hernia surgery.



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see also
Wigan swoop for defender Gohouri
12 Jan 10 |  Wigan
Celtic trio complete Boro switch
13 Jan 10 |  Middlesbrough
Celtic sign centre-half Hooiveld
11 Jan 10 |  Celtic
McDonald Wigan talks break down
08 Jan 10 |  Wigan
English clubs eye Celtic talent
03 Jan 10 |  Celtic
Celtic wanting Caldwell extension
24 Oct 08 |  Celtic


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