Bristol City, QPR, Preston and Coventry put on transfer alert after defender’s controversial Wigan departure

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Bristol City have an opportunity to sign a centre-back on a free transfer following a controversial decision.

Bristol City have an opportunity to sign Jack Whatmough on a free transfer after his decision to leave Wigan Athletic.

He only penned a two-year with the Latics on February, but now he has notified them of his decision to quit the club. The 26-year-old is free to leave the DW Stadium because of numerous times he wasn’t paid on time by the Latics’ former owners.

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In a club statement published by the League One team on Wednesday night, it read: “Following advice and guidance from the PFA, Jack Whatmough and Jamie McGrath made the decision to terminate their contracts due to repeated contractual breaches under the previous ownership.

“The Club made repeated efforts to retain both players, but ultimately a decision has been made to focus on the future under the new ownership in this exciting new era for Wigan Athletic.

“Both players have therefore left the club with immediate effect. We thank Jack and Jamie for their efforts whilst in a Latics shirt.”

Whatmough was linked to a move to Ashton Gate last month by Telegraph journalist Mike McGrath. He suggested there would be a ‘scramble’ between the four Championship clubs who have scouted him.

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Since being linked with Whatmough, Coventry have signed former Bristol Rovers centre-back Bobby Thomas for a reported £2m. Neither QPR nor Preston however have recruited another centre-back yet.

Nigel Pearson has already conducted most of his transfer business on the basis that Alex Scott remains at the club. Whatmough however could provide a decent back-up option at centre-back with Rob Atkinson currently injured and Kal Naismith nursing an injury.

Whatmough being available for free means City wouldn’t need to break the bank to sign him and would still have resources to spend in other areas should they wish. Tomas Kalas has yet to notify the club of his decision over his new contract and the longer it goes on the less likely he remains in the West Country.

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