JOE Garner has signed for Wigan Athletic in a £1.25million deal from Ipswich Town.

The 30-year-old striker – who had been a long-time target for Wanderers – ended-up commanding a king-sized fee on deadline day on his return to the North West.

Ipswich doubled the money they paid Rangers 12 months ago for Garner, who scored 10 goals in 32 appearances last season at Portman Road.

Wanderers owner Ken Anderson this evening explained why Wanderers had emerged from the final day of the summer transfer window empty-handed, having earlier claimed he had made two six-figure bids for Garner and one other striker.

“I have always maintained we shall never enter into a bidding war for a player whose price escalates beyond our own valuation,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this has meant that we missed out on our striker targets ahead of Thursday’s deadline insofar as two have signed elsewhere and one has not moved. Obviously, this is very disappointing but, under my watch, this club shall never repeat the mistakes of the past and we will continue to operate on a commercial and financially prudent basis.”

Wanderers have seen two other transfer targets end up at local rivals Wigan this summer.

Full-back Antonee Robinson and midfielder Callum Connelly, both of Everton, were guided towards the DW Stadium by ex-Blues boss Joe Royle, now an advisor for the Latics’ new Chinese ownership.