Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook is not surprised to see speculation swirl about the future of Joe Gelhardt amid claims that Liverpool, Everton, Wolves and Leicester City are interested in the young striker, speaking to Wigan Today.
Goal claimed earlier in September that a centre-forward who made his debut for England’s U18s during the international break has caught the eye of some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
Liverpool are interested in the Scouse goal-machine, who could potentially ease the pain following Bobby Duncan’s contentious move to Fiorentina during the summer transfer window.
Everton perhaps face a challenge luring a boyhood Reds fanatic to Goodison Park while Wolves and Leicester are hoping that the Midlands will prove a tempting destination for a striker who has scored goals for fun at youth level.
And Cook is fully aware that, if Gelhardt continues to improve, The Latics could find it increasingly difficult to keep hold of their prized asset – even if they would be loathe to let him go.
“If you look around all football clubs these days, players move on, they come and go,” said the raspy-voiced former Portsmouth boss. “If Joffy (Gelhardt) keeps progressing at the rate he has been...will he be at Wigan Athletic for the next 10 years? I very much doubt he will!
“This is the game today. But I genuinely know, from the chairman all the way down, we are not looking to sell players like that.
“We want to grow this club and enhance it to its full potential.”
In Jurgen Klopp, Marco Silva, Nuno Espirito Santo and Brendan Rodgers, all of Gelhardt’s top-flight suitors can boast a manager who has a fine track record when it comes to giving youth a chance at the highest level.
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