London — English Premier League side Wigan Athletics have denied signing Gambian midfielder Alieu Darbo, Observer Sports can officially confirm. This came after the former Le Mans player claimed in March that he is set to join the EPL side on a free transfer. The 19-year old Gambian winger was released from his contract at French Ligue 2 club Le Mans in January.
Speaking at the time, the former Gambia U-17 and U-20 player said: "I have a verbal agreement with Wigan. At the moment I have a problem with my knee and must do some rehab work to get myself fit. Then, hopefully, in about two week's time, I will go to Wigan and sign a contract with them."
Darbo also claimed that he had a spell on training at Sunderland earlier in the year where he also impressed but said the affection he received from the DW Stadium upon arrival made himchose Roberto Martinez's side instead of the Stadium of Light outfit. "They [Sunderland] wanted to offer me a contract, but because of the reception I received at Wigan, which I never got anywhere else, I decided to pick them. Everything felt right for me," he added.
Then a month later, the lad claimed that as expected, Wigan Athletic have apparently signed him on a three-year contract. He said he wasoffered deals at both the Latics and Sunderland but chose to come to play for Roberto Martinez. It has taken until now for the deal to be finalised due to Darbo requiring treatment for a knee injury and some recuperation back home in Sweden.
Speaking to fotbolltransfers.com Darbo said: "Everything is ready now, I went over to England and signed for three years. It feels very good. I still have problems with my knee and will probably not be healthy until next season, but I'm thinking for the first team," he added at the time.
But just a few months after claiming the Wigan deal, doubts begin to emerge over the purported transfer and fans even began to question those claims . So while in London, this reporterdecided to contact the Wigan Athletics Football Club and to be precise, Ed Jones, the Head of Media and Player Liaison at the DW-Stadium outfit.
When contacted, Ed denied the claims made by Alieu Darbo and even went as far as saying that the player must have a very fertile imagination. He told Observer Sports: "There is no truth whatsoever about this story. He must have a very fertile imagination!!"