Liverpool will lead the race for Wigan’s rising star Callum McManaman after the Latics’ Premier League fate was sealed at the Emirates last night.
The dazzling, dribbling skills of the 22-year-old winger have certainly caught the eye in recent months, with his performances in the FA Cup raising his profile.
Confirmation of his rise to prominence came in Saturday’s stunning cup final triumph over Manchester City as he was rightly named man of the match.
The Huyton-born player, an Everton fan and trainee as a kid, is in the form of his career having bagged crucial goals against Spurs and West Brom prior to his Wembley heroics.
Those displays have not gone unnoticed elsewhere in the Premier League where Liverpool are sure to be among a host of interested clubs following last night’s developments.
Wigan owner Dave Whelan is both hopeful and confident Roberto Martinez will remain at the helm, despite relegation, but keeping key players may prove more difficult.
McManaman, along with playmaker Shaun Maloney and leading scorer Arouna Kone, are sure to be summer targets as a result of their contributions to Wigan’s bitter-sweet season.
Flying winger McManaman, in particular, is an even more prized asset following his call-up to the England Under 21 squad for the European Championships in Israel.
His place in Stuart Pearce’s party was thrown into immediate doubt after McManaman was carried off on a stretcher in last night’s 4-1 defeat to Arsenal.
What isn’t in doubt, however, is that he has a bright, long-term future at the highest level. It is believed he is a distant relative of Liverpool legend Steve McManaman, so what odds on another ‘Macca’ strutting his stuff at Anfield?