Latics seal Al-Habsi deal
Published 04/07/2011 | 17:32
Wigan have completed the signing of goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi from Bolton on a four-year contract.
The Oman international spent last season on loan at the DW Stadium and was keen to return but the deal was held up because the two clubs could not come to an agreement on the fee. The clubs agreed the undisclosed fee for the 29-year-old last week, and Al Habsi then underwent a medical on his return from holiday before penning his deal.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said: "We are delighted to announce the best possible news for Wigan Athletic in securing Ali permanently."
He added: "During his loan at our football club last season, Ali brought a great degree of professionalism in his daily work and put in many outstanding performances in the Premier League.
"Goalkeeping is a very specific position and we are very pleased that we are going to be very strong in this department going into the new season.
"Being voted player of the season reflects the huge impression that Ali had on the pitch but also the feeling of the supporters towards him. After making it really clear that he wanted to play for Wigan Athletic moving forwards we've done everything possible to make this happen.
"The chairman [Dave Whelan] and everyone at the football club are delighted that Ali will be staying and I'm sure every single Latics fan will feel extremely proud and be able to enjoy a great day after hearing this news."
Al Habsi joined Bolton in 2006 but made just 10 league appearances for the Trotters.
He made his Wigan debut in the 1-0 win at Tottenham last August and kept eight Barclays Premier League clean sheets in all - including a vital one in the final game of the season as the Latics avoided relegation thanks to a 1-0 win at Stoke.
He said: "I am very happy. I want to thank everyone at Bolton for helping me get established in this country but I need to be playing first-team football, and hopefully, if I can stay fit and keep doing my best, I will get the chance again at Wigan. I think the gaffer is building a really exciting young team here and I am thrilled that I can be a part of that again."