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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Chimbonda 'panic' led to request
By Simon Austin

Pascal Chimbonda
Spurs made a 2m bid for Chimbonda last week
French defender Pascal Chimbonda was "panicked" into handing in a transfer request minutes after Wigan's defeat by Arsenal on Sunday, says his agent.

Latics boss Paul Jewell said he was "livid" about the actions of the 27-year-old.

But his agent, Willie McKay, told BBC Sport: "It was the end of the season, he was going on holiday and wanted to sort his future out - he panicked.

"The manager wasn't going on the team bus and Pascal saw this as his chance."

McKay says Wigan last week turned down a 2m offer from Tottenham for the right-back.

Spurs are still interested in the player according to McKay, "but not at 6m", the valuation put on him by Latics chairman Dave Whelan.

"I think 3.5m is a more realistic price for him," McKay said.

He unzipped his bag, took the note out and handed it to the manager - he hadn't even taken his boots off
Wigan spokesman

Wigan signed Chimbonda from French club Bastia for 500,000 last summer and he had a clause in his contract allowing him to move for 1m.

West Ham tried to invoke the clause in January, which led Wigan to renegotiate his contract and remove the clause.

But McKay says Wigan agreed "they wouldn't step in the player's way if a top club came in for him".

Latics boss Paul Jewell has denied there was such a verbal agreement, although he has said "we would not stand in his way if the right offer came along".

Chimbonda has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks and McKay has no doubt that the defender would perform on the biggest stage.

He's not come out of second gear yet
Willie McKay, Chimbonda's agent

"He saw Wigan as a stepping stone - he wants to play for a top, top club," McKay said.

"His ambition is to play for France. He's not come out of second gear yet and there's a lot more to come from him.

"He's a good guy who plays with no fear - it doesn't matter who he's playing against."

Yet McKay admits it is Wigan chairman Whelan's right to decide whether or not he sells the player.

"Mr Whelan owns his contract and if he's got to stay, he's got to stay," McKay said.

"Wigan deserve a good fee because they took a chance on him."

Chimbonda handed his transfer request to Jewell as soon as he walked into the Wigan changing room after their 4-2 defeat by Arsenal, according to Wigan's head of communications, Matt McCann.

"He unzipped his bag, took the note out and handed it to the manager - he hadn't even taken his boots off," McCann said.

"The other players couldn't fail to notice what was going on and some of the senior pros were very angry. In fact they still are."

Jewell fury at Chimbonda request
08 May 06 |  Wigan Athletic
Arsenal 4-2 Wigan
07 May 06 |  Premiership


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