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Hagen wants permanent Wigan deal

Zenit St Petersburg defender Erik Hagen is desperate to sign permanently with Wigan Athletic.

The 32-year-old Norway international, who is renowned for his rugged approach to defending, insists he has seen enough during his few days in the north-west to know he made the right decision in joining Wigan's battle for top-flight survival.

Asked if he would like to stay beyond the end of the season, when his current deal expires, he said: "Definitely.

"Just after a few days I'm really enjoying myself, so it is up to me and the club.

"Both me and my girlfriend are so happy to be here because the last year in Russia was difficult for us. People are so nice here compared to in Russia."

He added: "I'm a quiet person so it's always a little bit difficult to change club but people have been so open and friendly that it's made things easy."

Hagen's quiet off-field persona is in stark contrast to his demeanour on the pitch, which was aggressive enough to make him a hate figure among rival fans when he made his name with Valerenga in his homeland.

And he is modest enough to admit: "My strength has always been my strength and my will to win.

"I can obviously see my flaws as a footballer, so I live to defend - that's my job."

Hagen also freely admits that, at the age of 32, he believed his chance to play in the Barclays Premier League had gone.

"I was in contact with other clubs and I didn't think any team from the Premier League would come that close to the end of the transfer window," he added.

"But obviously when they made contact it was fantastic for me."

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Tribal Football Staff

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