Date: 3rd September 2017 at 1:09pm
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Wigan Athletic have been granted permission to speak to North Korea defender Ri Yong-chol over a proposed move to the DW Stadium, according to ‘Voice of Korea` (www.vok.rep.ko) and various media sources based in Beijing such as The Messenger.

A newsreader for Voice of Korea said: “Wigan [Athletic Football] Club are very interested in Ri Yong-chol who would be a big boost to the British sports game. The Supreme People’s Assembly remain in talks with Wigan to be sure of our player`s safety away from the People`s Republic of Korea.”

“In the meantime, the Assembly are happy for Ri Yong-chol to discuss his football career with the Wigan Club from the United Kingdom.” Thanks to Shaobo of China Daily for translating the quotation for us.

The proposed signing comes as Paul Cook`s Latics side find themselves short of defensive numbers following the transfer window slamming shut last week. A Vital Wigan poll shows that most supporters would favour the full back signing until at least January.

Yong-chol`s international pedigree includes impressing in his the 2011 Under 20 World Cup – particularly against England – and being part of a Korean team that defeated a strong Japan side 1-0. He is expected to play in North Korea`s home fixture against Lebanon this Tuesday.

Wigan Athletic are yet to respond to the speculation which has brought criticism from some quarters. The club have previously noted that they do not comment on transfer business.

Latics brought in 12 players during the summer transfer window, including two on Deadline Day.