By Daniel Feliciano

16th Jan, 2023 | 5:40pm

Wigan Athletic can't afford Leeds United wage demands to loan Joe Gelhardt

Wigan Athletic’s attempts to sign Joe Gelhardt on loan from Leeds are being held up by the wages of the player, according to journalist Alan Nixon.

The 20-year-old forward has found regular first-team football hard to come by this season, and has slipped further down the pecking order following the arrival of Georginio Rutter at Elland Road.

But despite reports that Wigan were “close” to signing Gelhardt on loan for the rest of the season, Nixon says the wages that Leeds would need to sanction a deal aren’t being met right now.

“Don’t think you can get near to wages Leeds would need,” he wrote on his personal Twitter account (16 January), while responding to a fan question about the progress of the deal.

“Best to look elsewhere in meantime I would suggest.”

Silly

Obviously we don’t want to be paying all of Gelhardt’s wages while he’s playing for someone else, but keeping him here hurts everyone at this point.

Gelhardt is behind all of Rutter, Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo, Luis Sinisterra, Crysencio Summerville, Willy Gnonto, Jack Harrison and Brenden Aaronson in the pecking order for the attacking positions as it stands.

He’ll play barely any minutes in the second half of the season barring an injury crisis, and that’s not to mention the fact that Mateo Joseph and Sonny Perkins are knocking on the door now too.

It would be far better for everyone if he was out playing regularly in the Championship, developing and improving, even if it meant that we’re paying a bit more of his wages than we initially wanted to be.

There is still time in the transfer window to get something sorted out, but if clubs start looking at alternatives it narrows the window of opportunity for him to leave and we’ll end up paying everything for him not to pay anyway.

In other Leeds news, financial demands met in pursuit of “sensational” ace signing in January