Coyle - We want to strengthen not sell

James McCarthy in action at Barnsley
James McCarthy in action at Barnsley

OWEN Coyle insists the next month will be far more about further strengthening his Wigan Athletic squad than losing his prize assets.

Wigan’s weekend win at Barnsley was predictably followed by speculation surrounding midfielder James McCarthy, with Newcastle being mentioned as potential suitors.

Coyle, though, is more concerned in adding to his squad in readiness for a hectic campaign that will see them play a minimum of 55 games at home and abroad.

“We know that rival clubs are more than aware of the quality we have at this football club,” Coyle recognised.

“All I can do as a manager is prepare them for the games and concentrate on that. Everything else is out of our control, but we still haven’t even had an enquiry for any of our players let alone a firm bid.

“As a manager, I am comfortable with that but, like anything else, we are always looking to plan ahead.

“And I am looking to add to the squad, not dismantle it.

“We’re chasing one very good player as we speak. Whether we’re able to get him in remains to be seen, but I’m certainly not finished adding to the quality we have here.”

Coyle has been linked with Zambian striker Emmanuel Mayuka on a season-long loan from Southampton.

He’s also been tipped to resurrect a deal for Bristol City winger Albert Adomah, after Middlesbrough’s attempts to swoop for the player stalled.

Regarding the future of McCarthy, who has nearly three years remaining on his contract, Coyle remains calm.

“It was difficult for James in the summer,” the Latics chief added. “His head was all over the place.

“I’ve said to James that if a Champions League club comes in for him – and he’s that good he can play for anyone in that top six – I won’t stand in his way.

“But we don’t have to sell anybody.”