CHERRIES are understood to be close to finalising a deal to re-sign defender Rhoys Wiggins from Sheffield Wednesday, the Daily Echo can tonight exclusively reveal.

Wiggins, who has already had three separate spells with the Dorset club, would provide cover for first-choice left-back Charlie Daniels should he return.

The 28-year-old Londoner was one of Eddie Howe’s first signings in management, joining Cherries on loan from Crystal Palace in January 2009.

He played a key role in the club’s escape from relegation to the Conference before returning for a second loan spell – when he was at Norwich – and helped Cherries win promotion to League One.

Howe finally ended a lengthy pursuit of Wiggins when he signed him permanently for a fee of around £35,000 from the Canaries in July 2010.

Wiggins was a star performer as Cherries reached the League One play-offs, eventually losing in the semi-finals to Huddersfield.

He upset a section of Cherries supporters when he left the club for Charlton following the play-off near-miss, having previously put in a transfer request.

Wiggins spent four years with the Addicks before joining Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee in August.

But the Wales under-21 international has been restricted to just nine appearances for the Owls this season, including six in the Championship.