Bruce added: "He only turned 20 in April and already he has played nearly 70 games in the Premier League, as well as in the Uefa Cup. That's exceptional. He can be a great leader of the future."
Cattermole was used as a substitute in the Uefa Cup final in what was Steve McClaren's last game in charge in 2006, but struggled to establish himself in the team under McClaren's successor Gareth Southgate.
Southgate revealed last week that the club had received a tentative bid for Cattermole and has admitted he needs to sell before he can buy again.
Cattermole is a product of Middlesbrough's youth academy and has made 69 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.
Wigan have been relatively busy in the transfer market recently, signing midfielder Olivier Kapo for £3.5m and Daniel de Ridder on a free, both from Birmingham City, as well as Egypt striker Amr Zaki on a one-year loan deal from Zamalek.
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