Roberto Martinez hopes to bring Paul Scharner back to Wigan before the transfer window closes.
The Wigan manager wants to sign the versatile Austrian because of his defensive injury crisis.
Scharner, who made 156 appearances for the Latics between 2006 and 2010, can operate at the back and in midfield.
Since leaving the DW Stadium in 2010, Scharner spent two seasons with West Bromwich Albion before joining Hamburg, where has struggled to get into the team.
But Martinez believes the 32-year-old can help compensate for the absence of Ivan Ramis, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, while fellow defender Antolin Alcaraz has not played since August.
The Wigan boss was forced to give a Premier League debut to 20-year-old Spaniard Roman Golobart in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Stoke.
Martinez said: "Over the next 48 hours I am hoping to bring one or two players in and Paul is one of them. We had the injury to Ivan Ramis, his season is over and we are very short at the back. Antolin Alcaraz is not back yet, so I am trying to bring some cover in at centre-half.
"Paul could be a perfect replacement because he knows the football club and the Premier League. He is someone who could fit in at centre-half and with the way we play.
"The fans would welcome him with open arms and it is something that I am hoping to have positive news on over the next 48 hours."
Scharner was a popular figure in his first spell at Wigan and had the word "thanx" dyed into his hair in the club’s colours of blue and white for his final Athletic game in 2010.
If he joins, he will become Wigan's third January signing after Roger Espinoza and on-loan Angelo Henriquez.