Owen Coyle will want to keep most of his key players
Wigan Athletic's new manager Owen Coyle will have plenty to do in the offseason, and keeping star players will be one of his toughest tasks.
Key players like James McCarthy, Arouna Kone and Callum McManaman have each impressed in a team that claimed FA cup glory but struggled in the league.
Now, with a new season in the npower Championship ahead of them, Coyle has been given the target of leading Wigan back into the Premier League (with the incentive of a £1 million bonus from chairman Dave Whelan should he gain promotion at the first attempt).
This transfer window will definitely see one or two players leave for good money, but should Wigan have a fighting chance of getting out of the division, they will need to find the right balance between making a tidy profit and clearing out too many players.
This article will break down the chances of which players are likely to leave and where they may go according to recent rumors and speculation.
At the moment it is very quiet on the Wigan front in terms of bringing players in. The Latics obviously have enough on their plate trying to persuade as many players as they can to remain at the club.
Wigan's dynamic midfielder has been the one player that has drawn huge interest from many clubs around the Premier League.
The latest rumor is that Tottenham lead the race for his signature. Jonathan Northcroft of The Sunday Times (subscription required) reports that Wigan would want £20 million for the 22-year-old Ireland international.
This is unlikely as according to the article, club chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to meet the asking price.
McCarthy remains one of the most likely players to exit the DW Stadium considering the amount of teams reported to be interested in him.
Toffees right-back Seamus Coleman has been talking with his international teammate and getting excited about the prospect of impressing his new boss.
Coleman told SkySports.com:
I spoke to James about him. He always has good things to say about him.
Like David Moyes with me, Martinez was brilliant with James, so he obviously has positive things to say.
Perhaps these two Irishmen will be playing together too at club level next season.
The high fee for McCarthy might not be a problem for Everton, especially if they cash in on the sale of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
Kone has a contract that runs to 2015, but whether he is prepared to play in a lower division remains uncertain.
He was quoted as saying:
Just because the gaffer is in charge makes the link stronger but, to be honest, I don’t know what will happen.
After the international games I will know more then.
I have a contract until 2015 with Wigan and I settled very well there.
It is a brilliant community football club. The chairman is fantastic.
However, Simon Jones of the Mail Online reports that the former Wigan boss would like to bring Kone to his new club and hopes to beat Steve Bruce and Hull to his signing.
Kone is rumored to be valued at £5 million, and should a team come in with an offer in that region he is likely to leave.
The 29-year-old striker scored 13 goals in all competitions last season for the Latics and would be a good acquisition for Hull, so that would be a good bet should they put in a strong offer.
McManaman has gained a lot of admirers after a string of promising performances and his man-of-the-match display in the FA Cup final triumph over Manchester City,
Like many of Wigan's star performers, he has been rumored to follow Roberto Martinez to Everton.
This would be logical for the once Goodison Park trainee, and he certainly would be a player the Everton fans would want to see at their club.
However, the 22-year-old would be wise to stay at Wigan where he would be able to develop further under Coyle and be almost guaranteed to start every game.
Remember, McManaman only featured regularly in the second half of last season for Latics after impressing in the early rounds of the FA cup.
He is still raw and needs to keep plying his trade with Latics and if he continues to impress the big clubs will still be interested and Wigan can demand an even higher price should they want to sell.
Phil Kirkbride writes in Liverpool Echo that Callum McManaman is unlikely to head to Goodison Park.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is prepared to sell players should the right offer come in, and McManaman would attract a sizable fee.
The new boss has said that he wants to keep as many players as he can, and Coyle told ITV.com:
We want to keep the main ones, sure we do. But the chairman always said if the right offer comes in, he'd never stand in someone's way. It's a talented squad.
The odds of the winger leaving this term are low and Wigan should be able to keep him at least for one more season.
Also, fellow defender Antolin Alcaraz could soon be on his way out of the DW stadium as a host of Premier League clubs are chasing him, as reported by SkySports.com.