Premier League

Stones could be rolling to Wigan

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Sun, 06 Jan 2013 19:19:00

Blackpool are poised to sign Barnsley defender Scott Wiseman after having a bid accepted for the player.

Barnsley have given Blackpool permission to speak to Wiseman over a possible switch to Bloomfield Road.

Wiseman joined Barnsley from Rochdale in the summer of 2010 and quickly established himself as a key member of the side at Oakwell.

The 27-year-old has made 62 league appearances for Barnsley and he is thought to have attracted the interest of several Premier League and Championship sides.

Blackpool boss Michael Appleton is keen to bolster his squad in this month's transfer window and he will be hoping to finalise a deal for Wiseman.

Barnsley have also confirmed Craig Davies has been given permission to speak to Bolton after they had a bid accepted for the Wales international.

Speculation has surrounded the role at the struggling Championship side since Hill's departure last month, with O'Driscoll quickly installed as the favourite for the Oakwell vacancy.

A statement from O'Driscoll on the club's official website, following Thursday's board meeting said: "I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to have spoken to Barnsley.

"In my one meeting with the directors I was keen to ascertain exactly what the short and long-term strategies and ambitions of the club are and how I may be able to help the club achieve those. At no point were terms discussed by either party.

"Barnsley is a well-run club whose achievements in successfully maintaining their Championship status for so many seasons should never be underestimated.

"The directors' commitment to and passion for Barnsley FC impressed me. But at this moment, and given the extremely disappointing and sudden nature of my departure from Nottingham Forest, I've respectfully declined the opportunity to become Barnsley's next manager.

"I wish the club, players and supporters all the best for the rest of the season."

Hill was dismissed by the Tykes after their home defeat to Blackburn, which saw the club sink to the bottom of the Championship.

Former Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell and ex-Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson were also reported to be on the club's four-man shortlist.

Debutant Daniel Sturridge gave the Reds an early lead before substitute Luis Suarez appeared to handle the ball before doubling the advantage, a goal which proved crucial when Matt Green pulled one back for Mansfield.

However, Rodgers pointed out that the officials saw the Suarez handball and ruled that it was not intentional.

"I've just seen it again and there's no doubt it was handball, but the referee and the officials ruled it wasn't deliberate," he said.

"I spoke to the fourth official when it was given because I couldn't see and he said it was (handball), so I can only assume they thought it wasn't deliberate.

"Obviously it was unfortunate for Mansfield and lucky for us that we got the goal, but it was a really professional performance from us."

When it was suggested that Suarez should have admitted the handball to the referee, Rodgers added: "It's not Luis' job to do that.

"It's not deliberate, as it's pushed up and hit his hand. It's up to the officials to decide that.

"That's why they get paid as officials and I thought Andre Marriner was brilliant today.

"Maybe when you lose the game you look back on it and think it was unfortunate. We missed many more chances to put the game to bed but we got a wee bit of luck there, so it's something we'll take and move on."

Stones has been very impressive for Barnsley this season and his performances have attracted the interest of a host of Premier League clubs.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton and Sunderland have all been credited with an interest in Stones, but Wigan are hoping to win the race for the 18-year-old's signature.

Martinez has made Stones one of his top transfer targets this month and he is ready to push through a move for the talented full-back.

Martinez hopes the lure of regular first-team football will help him beat their Premier League rivals to the signing.

Barnsley are reluctant to lose Stones, but know they will not be able to reject a sizeable offer for the teenager in this month's transfer window.

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