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By ESPN Staff
Aug 23, 2006

Wigan's Camara signs new three-year deal

Henri Camara has signed a new three-year deal with Wigan. The Senegal striker has pledged his future to the club, after agreeing a deal that now takes him up to 2009.

Camara, the club's former record buy at £3.1million last summer, has effectively agreed a one-year extension as his previous deal was due to expire in 2008.

Camara, who scored 12 goals in 30 league appearances last season to help Wigan finish 10th on their debut in the Premiership, admits to a number of factors as to why he put pen to paper.

'In my mind I have never wanted to leave,' said the 29-year-old.

'I am happy at Wigan and I am playing the best football of my career, while I am also settled in the area and I have a good relationship with the supporters.

'I think the partnership with Emile Heskey is going to bear a lot of results this season.

'I get on with the manager, and I believe he understands how to get the best out of me as a player, while some of the signings made in the summer have also convinced me the club is really going places and moving in the right direction.

'Why on earth would I want to leave when there is so much going for me here?'

Wigan manager Paul Jewell believes he has turned Henri Camara into one of the most dangerous strikers in the Premiership.

Jewell believes a happy, settled Camara is the key to getting the best from a player who had been linked to Portsmouth and Newcastle over the summer.

But after an unhappy time at Wolves and loan spells at Southampton and Celtic, Camara now appears to be at ease at Wigan.

'I think when Henri Camara is settled, he is twice the player, said Jewell.

'He came back for pre-season with fantastic hunger and he has looked so sharp in training.

'When he has a smile on his face, he plays with a spring in his step and gives his all, he is as dangerous as any striker in the division.

'I seriously rate him that highly.'

It is understood Camara had a clause in his previous contract allowing him to renegotiate if Wigan avoided relegation last season.

Improved terms, which will run over the course of the contract, were quickly agreed, much to Jewell's delight.

'I have sat down with him on numerous occasions over the past few weeks and discussed the situation over with him,' added Jewell.

'He knows how much we think of him and how much a part of my plans he is and that is reflected in the offer we have made to him.

'I am absolutely delighted he has decided to pledge his future to us. It is the news the players, staff and supporters of this club all wanted to hear.'

Jewell, meanwhile, is still waiting to hear from FIFA with regard to the transfer of defender Andy Webster from Hearts, with football's world governing body deciding on the level of compensation.