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McCarthy completes Wigan transfer

Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy
Hamilton teenager McCarthy was wanted by a string of English clubs

Wigan have completed the signing of Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy for a fee of about £1.2m rising to £3m.

Wolves also had a bid accepted for the 18-year-old Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, but he penned a five-year deal with the Latics.

Manager Roberto Martinez said: "There were several clubs chasing James and it is fantastic he has chosen Wigan.

"He has the ability to become a big player in the future and it is great to have him on board."

McCarthy is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in British football and he will now join up with the rest of the Wigan squad at their pre-season training camp in Austria.

He's quick, very bright on the ball, can see a pass and I believe he can have a great career in football

Roberto Martinez

As well as Wolves, there was also interest from Tottenham, while Celtic manager Tony Mowbray admitted that they were priced out of the race after they, Burnley and Portsmouth had bids rejected earlier this summer.

"He had a very difficult decision to make and, fair play to him, he took his time to weigh up all his options, take advice and make his mind up," added Martinez.

"That shows a huge amount of maturity for a boy of his age, but then maturity is probably the one word I would use above all others to describe him."

McCarthy has played over 100 games for Hamilton since breaking into the first team as a 15-year-old and became the club's youngest ever goalscorer aged 16 and 55 days.

Uncle Bobby's Mint Balls

In 2007, he rejected a move to Liverpool and it is thought the promise of involvement in the Wigan first team from Martinez helped sway his decision.

"He's quick, very bright on the ball, can see a pass and I believe he can have a great career in football," said the Spaniard.

"Now it's up to us to manage those expectations carefully and nurture a really prodigious talent over the coming months and years."

Accies chairman Ronnie MacDonald told BBC Scotland: "James is a superb prospect and I know Roberto Martinez and Wigan will look after him."

The move follows that of former Hamilton team-mate Brian Easton, who joined Burnley for £350,000 last week, while McCarthy becomes Wigan's fourth summer signing after the arrivals of Jason Scotland, Hendry Thomas and Jordi Gomez.

McCarthy's transfer trebled Accies' previous record sale, having received £380,000 from Millwall for Paul Hartley in 1996.

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see also
Accies pledge on McCarthy funds
21 Jul 09 |  Hamilton
McCarthy agrees 1.2m Wigan move
20 Jul 09 |  Wigan
Scotland completes Wigan transfer
18 Jul 09 |  Wigan
Burnley tie up Easton transfer
14 Jul 09 |  Burnley
Accies reject Celtic McCarthy bid
14 May 09 |  Hamilton
McCarthy, Easton attract interest
28 Feb 09 |  Hamilton
McCarthy rejects Liverpool move
09 May 07 |  Hamilton

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