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Martinez keen to bolster defensive stocks

30 January 2013 01:54

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed his interest in signing Hamburg defender Paul Scharner.

The 32-year-old has made just four appearances for the Bundesliga outfit this season, having left West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer in June.

The pair spent a year together at the DW Stadium - before Scharner ended a five-year stint with Wigan by joining Albion in 2010 - and Martinez has revealed the Austrian is one of a number of targets he is hoping to bring in ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline.

"Over the next 48 hours I'm hoping to bring one or two players in and Paul is one of them, but I can't speak about that because he is a player attached to another football club," Martinez told reporters following the 2-2 draw against Stoke City.

"We have the injury of Ivan Ramis, the season is over for him so it leaves us short at the back, Antolin Alcaraz is not back yet so I'm trying to bring some cover at centre-half.

"Paul could be a perfect replacement because he knows the football club, he knows Premier League, he's someone that could fit in as a centre half and in the way we want to play and the fans would welcome him with open arms."

Meanwhile, Stoke boss Tony Pulis said he is open to selling striker Peter Crouch - who scored against Wigan - to QPR.

"QPR have enquired about Peter, whether we do it or not you'll have to wait and see," Pulis said, after his side gave up a two-goal lead.

"Harry's rung me up and asked me about the possibility, I've spoken to Peter about it, he knows about it and it's up to Peter as to whether he wants to go. Peter's very happy here, and he's made that clear.

"It's got to be right for the player, it's got to be right for the football club. The great thing is that financially we don't have to worry about bringing money in."

Pulis hinted the only hindrance to Crouch becoming a Londoner again was time to find cover for the England international, should he depart the Britannia.

"If it's right for both parties and the player wants to go then it's very difficult not to let the player go, the important thing for me is that if he does want to go it's got to be right for us but also we've got to have someone who'll come in and do the same job," he said.

"If the deal was right, Peter wanted to go and everything was in place and we couldn't find a replacement then he wouldn't go because that would put the club at risk, and it's too big a season to put the club at risk."

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