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Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Heskey pledges to stay with Wigan

Emile Heskey
Heskey has forced his way back into the England set-up while at Wigan

Emile Heskey has told Wigan he will see out his contract and stay with the club until the summer.

The England international striker has been linked with moves to Aston Villa and Liverpool during the January transfer window.

But Latics chief executive Brenda Spencer says the 31-year-old has said he is happy at Wigan.

Manager Steve Bruce is keen to retain Heskey and has said he is "very confident" of keeping him.

Spencer said: "I think Emile has been fantastic for us. When we bought him from Birmingham people thought we were mad but he has been an absolute gem for us and has done well for himself.

"He is a fantastic pro and we would be sorry to lose him in the summer if he goes.

"But he is enjoying his time at Wigan and has told us he was staying with us until the summer, (that) he was seeing out his contract.

"He is 31 so if he gets his final move we would wish him all the best. It (the relationship) has worked both ways with loyalty on both sides."

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Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has previously suggested the club could cash in on Heskey, who has stalled on renewing his current deal, during the window.

Heskey joined Wigan from Birmingham in 2006 for a club record fee of 5.5m.

The target man has experienced a renaissance at the JJB, forcing his way back into the England set-up as a foil for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.

Last month Bruce expressed hope that the striker would stay at Wigan for the remainder of the season.

"I'm very, very confident I'll keep hold of him," he said.

"I've got the backing of the chairman with this, unless it's a real, big substantial offer, one which is really going to make us sit up."

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see also
Heskey delighted to score 100 career goals
01 Nov 08 |  Match of the Day
Heskey keeping his options open
17 Oct 08 |  Football
Heskey sends out England warning
14 Sep 07 |  Football Focus


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