McCarthy will only leave for the right money

James McCarthy in action against Nottingham Forest on Saturday
James McCarthy in action against Nottingham Forest on Saturday

THE transfer window slams shut at 11pm tonight - and it remains to be seen whether James McCarthy will still be a Wigan Athletic player by last orders.

McCarthy’s future has been the subject of intense speculation ever since Latics were relegated from the Premier League in May.

However, up to the weekend, Latics had yet to receive a bid for the 22-year-old Ireland midfielder.

That all changed last night, with Roberto Martinez and Everton finally making their move.

But the initial offer from the Toffees - believed to be just £7million, with a further £3million in add-ons - was immediately rejected by Latics.

Wigan value McCarthy closer to the £20million mark - a figure that Martinez, the man who brought the midfielder to Wigan in 2009 - would have had a say in setting.

An offer around the £15million mark would give Latics food for thought, but there is no question of them selling their prize asset on the cheap.

Boss Owen Coyle admitted after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest that Latics wouldn’t stand in McCarthy’s way if a suitable offer was received.

But last night’s bid would not have come close to, in Coyle’s words, “reflecting James McCarthy’s value”.

Coyle said: “Roberto has worked with him very closely and waxed lyrical about him for three years, so my hope is that if an offer comes in, it reflects James McCarthy’s value.

“At Wigan Athletic, we do not have to sell anybody. The club run their finances very well.

“I totally understand that if a big club come calling - and Everton are certainly a big club - then I will take James’ wishes into view at that point. But there is nothing to chat about if the offer is nowhere near our valuation of the player.

“One or two things will happen: he will either go for what I believe is a fair and decent sum, or he will remain a Wigan Athletic player.”

Latics also last night turned down a bid from Crystal Palace for Callum McManaman, understood to be around £2.5million, with Cardiff also believed to be interesting in the winger.

As far as incomings are concerned, Coyle is hoping to bring in at least a couple of players ahead of the deadline, with both loan and permanent deals currently being put together.

Top of Coyle’s list of priorities is a striker, with the recent injury to Grant Holt leaving Marc-Antoine Fortune as the only senior frontman on the books.

Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell is also expected to arrive on loan, with Coyle admitting he’s a big admirer of the former Crewe man.

“I am always loathe to talk about everybody else’s players,” Coyle added.

“But everyone knows that me and David [Moyes] have a very good relationship, and Nick Powell is a hugely talented player.

“If and when he becomes available, I would certainly love to bring a player of that calibre to the football club if possible.”

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