Date: 2nd December 2008 at 1:45pm
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Reports continue to surface that Lee Hughes will exit Boundary Park in January. It is believed that the former WBA man has a £400,000 release clause and with a range of Championship clubs all watching him, could it spell the end to his Latics career?

With struggling Doncaster (who else?!?) favourites to snap up Hughes, chief executive Alan Hardy had this to say:

“It could well be the case that Doncaster are interested in Lee, and I suppose a lot of clubs should be because he`s a good player.

“We wouldn`t want to sell any of our good players while we are challenging for promotion, but it looks like clubs have been made aware of the release clause in Lee`s contract.”

As Hardy states, Hughes leaving would seriously dent our promotion prospects but £400,000 for a 32 year old striker who could walk free at the end of the season is tempting. In all honesty, although i’d love to see Hughesy stay and fulfil his Championship ambitions with us, i’d much rather him leave than Chris Taylor.

If Hughes is to leave then I hope at least a small sum of the fee will go towards funding a replacement as well as balancing the books. 400k and Byfield deal would be appropriate but another striker would be needed unless Craig Davies can resolve his differences and hit form again.