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Koke to join Chelsea, Podolski eyes escape

Transfer Talk
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By ESPN Staff

Wigan beat Man Utd to Haestad signing

Wigan manager Paul Jewell has beaten Manchester United, Blackburn and Bolton to the signature of highly-rated Norway midfielder Kristofer Haestad.

The 23-year-old, voted Norway's midfielder of the year last year, has signed on loan for the rest of the season from IK Start.

Haestad is Jewell's second signing in the space of 48 hours after bringing in Sweden Under-21 international centre-back Andreas Granqvist from Helsingborg, also on a season-long loan.

'We've been watching him for a while now, and I know there were other Premiership clubs in the hunt too, so I'm delighted to have him on board,' said Jewell.

'He's a player I think has the right attributes to play in this country.

'He can play anywhere across the middle, and at 23, he's exactly the right age to come and test himself in the Premiership.'

Like Granqvist, Haestad will have to wait until next weekend's FA Cup third-round tie at Portsmouth to be able to make his debut due to Premier League regulations and subject to international clearance.

Haestad is hoping to make his mark in the Premiership as he said: 'It is a dream to play in England, and I am grateful to Wigan for taking a chance on me.

'Now I want to do all I can to repay them and prove I am good enough to make it in the best league in the world.'