Paul Cook remains adamant Wigan Athletic do not want or need to sell Nick Powell or any of their crown jewels ahead of Wednesday night’s transfer deadline.
Powell’s powerful performance in the FA Cup victory over West Ham at the weekend made national headlines, with pundits suggesting he could and should be playing at least one division higher.
Cook admits his hands may be tied if a large offer was received.
But he is hoping that is a scenario that doesn’t materialise.
“There’s so many phone-calls in football now – between not just managers but also agents - you can’t say for sure whether there’s anything going on,” he told the Wigan Post.
“All I can say is we don’t want to sell anybody, we’re not interested in selling anybody.
“But you can’t ever say that you won’t.
“As far as we’re concerned, it’s all about getting to Wednesday night, hopefully with our squad intact.
“And then we can fully concentrate on achieving what we set out to at the start of the season.”
Rather than view the situation negatively, Cook insists it’s only natural the vultures should be circling his League One leaders.
“Our lads deserve to have interest in them,” acknowledged the Latics boss.
“If you continue to play like our lads are, why wouldn’t there be interest?
“I mean, Nick Powell, come on...he was exceptionally good on Saturday.
“But as a group, we’re very happy at the moment.
“If someone has to leave - and people do leave football clubs, that’s life – we’d wish them well.
“All you can do is concentrate on the players still at the football club.
“With the finances involved these days, we can all appreciate players’ lives can change by moving upwards.”
Cook is also refusing to get too carried away at the level of praise his side have received since dumping a second Premier League side out of the FA Cup in as many rounds, to set up a mouth-watering fifth-round tie against Manchester City.
“We’re on a good run at the minute,” he recognised.
“But we’re not stupid, we know these things can change very quickly.
“You’ve seen Liverpool go from the heights of beating Manchester City the other week to losing at Swansea in the league and now West Brom in the cup.
“It’s what football can do to us all – it doesn’t matter who you are.”
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