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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 13:46 GMT
Wigan snub McCulloch transfer bid
Wigan midfielder Lee McCulloch
McCulloch has won five Scotland caps
Wigan have rejected a transfer request from Lee McCulloch - after they snubbed a 750,000 bid from Rangers.

Latics boss Paul Jewell described the offer for the 28-year-old Scotland star as "derisory" and "insulting".

He said: "He can hand in 10 transfer requests, but until something is right for this club, then he won't be going.

"Walter Smith knows my stance on it, and as far as I'm concerned, nothing is going to be done unless it is an unbelievable offer."

Rangers' boss Smith admires McCulloch after he played under him for Scotland.

And Wigan are angry Rangers' bid for the player became public.

Jewell said: "I spoke to Walter, and I'm disappointed the stuff about the bid came out earlier in the week.

"Rangers are denying it, and they are saying it's the agent - who incidentally is not his agent.

He says it's for family reasons he wants to go back to Scotland - but he forgot to put that in his transfer request

Wigan manager Paul Jewell

"I think Lee forgot to tell him he is contracted to somebody else until March."

McCulloch is represented by the Professional Footballers' Association, but agent John Viola was speaking on his behalf.

Jewell shrugged off McCulloch's request, adding: "It's disappointing, but I'll get over it.

"He says it's for family reasons he wants to go back to Scotland - but he forgot to put that in his transfer request. Whoever wrote it has not quite got the wording right.

"But we're not losing Lee. Just because he's handed in a transfer request, it doesn't matter."

Smith had been hoping to make McCulloch his second signing since returning to Ibrox for a second spell in charge on 10 January.

He brought David Weir to the club from Everton on Tuesday and has also been linked with a move for Middlesbrough centre-back Ugo Ehiogu.

But Jewell said Rangers' initial valuation was nowhere near what Wigan would need to let him leave the club.

He said: "We paid 700,000 for him when we were in the old Third Division.

"Since then, he's become a Premiership player and a full international."

McCulloch, who signed a new three-year deal at the JJB Stadium in the summer, joined the Latics from Scottish Premier League club Motherwell in March 2001.

"If Rangers - or any other club - think we would sell an established player and international for such a paltry sum then they are sorely mistaken," added Jewell.

McCulloch has scored 45 goals in his 227 first-team appearances for Wigan and has won five caps for Scotland.

SEE ALSO
McCulloch pens new Wigan contract
24 Jul 06 |  Wigan Athletic


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