Premier League

Tiote will wear Wonga shirt

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Fri, 28 Jun 2013 19:00:00

Wigan Athletic have completed the signing of defender Stephen Crainey on a free transfer.

Sky Sports sources revealed earlier on Friday that the Scottish full-back was having a medical with Wigan, and he has joined the Latics on a one-year deal.

Crainey left Blackpool after a six-year spell and is relishing the challenge of battling for promotion back to the Premier League and competing in the Europa League with the FA Cup winners.

"It's a big challenge for me personally, but after six good years at Blackpool I felt it was time for a new challenge at this stage of my career and I'm delighted for that to be at Wigan Athletic," he said.

"The Championship is a gruelling division, with tough games every week, but that and the chance to play European football, is a challenge I'm really looking forward to.

"I've played against Wigan Athletic on a few occasions so I know how much the fans back their team and I'm sure they'll do the same this season which is what we need to produce the performances on the pitch."

Crainey has become Owen Coyle's second signing as Wigan boss after midfielder Chris McCann agreed to link up with the Latics earlier in the week.

Speculation had suggested the 27-year-old Ivory Coast international, along with his fellow Muslim team-mates, might not be prepared to play with the payday lender's name on his shirt so as not to risk infringing Sharia Law.

But sources on Tyneside have indicated that Tiote is comfortable with the situation.

However, the Magpies are yet to sit down with striker Papiss Cisse and discuss his objections after it emerged that he had expressed misgivings.

Cisse, 28, headed off on international duty with Senegal at the end of the domestic campaign and, while most of Alan Pardew's squad are due to return for pre-season training next week, he, Tiote, Mathieu Debuchy, Fabricio Coloccini and Yohan Cabaye have been extra time off as a result of their post-season commitments.

As a result, club officials will not have an opportunity to talk to him in any detail on the matter until he is back on Tyneside.

The Wonga deal has proved controversial since it was announced in October last year, with civic leaders hitting out at the club's association with the company.

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