Wigan chairman Whelan reveals Bruce agreement

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan revealed a verbal contract with Steve Bruce has been agreed, reports the Sunday Sun.

Birmingham boss Bruce, who has been waiting for six months to seal a new deal at St Andrews, had been destined for the exit ever since Wigan made their interest clear.

And the Blues gave the former Manchester United defender the chance to speak to Whelan on Friday.

Whelan said: "We will have a meeting with Steve on Monday and we are hoping we can make an announcement on Monday or Tuesday.

"We look like we have a contract agreed but nothing has been signed. There is no doubt from the very start when we approached he was keen to come to Wigan."
Whelan admitted it has cost the club somewhere in the region of £3million in compensation to prise Bruce from Birmingham but he felt the fee was worth it.

He added: "There is a clause in there and we have to honour that. We have agreed that with Birmingham.

"To get a manager of Steve Bruce's quality I think that is a bargain."
Once Bruce's contract has been signed the next hurdle will be to try to persuade Birmingham to allow his assistant Eric Black to join him at the JJB.

But the St Andrews board are keen to retain the services of Black to ensure some continuity while the proposed takeover by Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung continues.

Whelan said: "Eric Black has to be agreed between Steve and the management.

"I understand Birmingham want some continuity. He wants to come with Steve because a team always stays together.

"Whether he will come immediately I don't know.

"It is a mess when you are looking for a new manager. Everything is stirred up. It is never a happy time and the sooner it is over and Steve joins us I will be a very happy man."

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