Thursday, January 15, 2009

Palacios link unlikely to bear fruit

Manchester United might have a midfield packed with strength in depth, but Sir Alex Ferguson has still been linked with a move for highly-rated Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios.

Fergie got a view of the Honduras ace first hand on Wednesday night as the 24-year-old more than held his own against Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick as United beat Wigan 1-0.

Latics chief Steve Bruce had the player on loan at Birmingham and when he left for the North-West he was quick to pounce on Palacios with new Birmingham boss Alex McLeish failing to see much of him and unaware of his talents.

Palacios was forced to return home after his younger brother was kidnapped, but after his release in November 2007 Palacios was able to concentrate on his football and he has become a huge hit at Wigan.

His powerful running, tackling and ability to drive forward have already alerted the attentions of the big guns with Real Madrid also rumoured to be keen.

Tottenham have already had a £10million bid rejected by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who revealed he's looking for considerably more for the former Birmingham ace.

It could just spur Sir Alex into action, who will have to offer closer to £15million to prise Palacios away from The JJB, but in truth the football odds are heavily stacked against Fergie opening his chequebook again before the end of the month.

Youngsters Ritchie De Laet, Adem Ljajic and Zoran Tosic have been snapped up already and the chances of Palacios following those three in the Old Trafford door seem remote.

However Fergie will undoubtedly be keeping tabs on the Wigan star, who signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the JJB Stadium after joining from Deportivo Olimpia just over a year ago.

By Phil Tomlinson