Latics retrain their sights

Date published: 06 August 2012

ATHLETIC are exploring alternatives after manager Paul Dickov admitted the Portuguese striker he wants to sign has stalled at the chance to join the club.

Rui Miguel (28) has returned home following an eye-catching recent trial which included setting up Robbie Simpson for the opening goal of the Manchester City friendly.

A contract offer had been made to the former CSKA Sofia and Kilmarnock man, but the player’s agent had “complicated matters”.

“He is back in Portugal at the moment,” Dickov said. “We are waiting to hear. He knows what we can pay and what we are trying to do. Everything was sorted until his agent got involved.

“The time frame is such that if I can get another striker in today, I will.”

One forward Dickov is adamant he doesn’t want is Lee Hughes. The 36 year old Notts County player was linked with Latics by a national newspaper again yesterday, but Athletic’s boss reiterated his position: Hughes is not and has never been a target.

Athletic rounded off their friendlies programme with a 0-0 draw against Huddersfield at Boundary Park on Saturday.

He said: “In the second half we were the better side and we had three or four headers in the box we possibly should have done better with. Confidence is high going into the season.”

ATHLETIC’S under-18s remain unbeaten on their Netherlands tour after a 1-1 draw at NEC Nijmegen.

Jordan Bove netted a late equaliser for Athletic, who now move on to Delden, where they will play Vitesse Arnhem and Cheltenham.

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