Martinez - No bids for stars
Roberto Martinez is focused on adding to his ranks, with no bids received for his prize assets.
Last Updated: 05/07/11 9:30am
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is focused on adding to his ranks, with no bids received for his prize assets.
The Spaniard completed his first piece of transfer business on Monday with the £4million signing of Bolton goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, the Latics' player of the season after his loan spell in the previous campaign.
However, winger Charles N'Zogbia continues to be linked with a number of clubs, as he has been for the last three windows, while midfielder James McCarthy and striker Hugo Rodallega also have their suitors.
Of that trio the former seems most likely to depart, especially as his transfer to Birmingham 11 months ago floundered at the last minute because of personal terms, while he also has only one year left on his contract.
But despite the reported interest there have been no bids as yet and Martinez is focusing on improving his squad rather than allowing it to be weakened.
His next move into the market will be to find a replacement for midfielder Tom Cleverley, who impressed on loan from Manchester United last term but seems unlikely to return for a second season.
"At the moment it is very straightforward: we are very strong in our squad, we have got very good numbers," said Martinez.
"Ali was our first priority but now Tom Cleverley has gone back to Manchester United that is another position we have to strengthen.
"But even then I feel we have a group of youngsters who will get a chance in pre-season and if they are as strong as I suspect them to be we will have a good squad.
"We've had no offers (for his players) but I am sure there is a lot of interest in our top performers - and rightly so, we will take that as a compliment.
"But we are looking forward to finishing the window in a stronger position than we started and that is why we work so hard behind the scenes to get ready."
Having helped the team stave off the threat of relegation on the final day of last season, Al Habsi is keen for the Latics to start building for a better campaign this time around.
He, like Martinez, is keen to hang on to those team-mates who played a significant part in that survival battle.
"The most important players we have to keep and we have to work hard starting on Thursday (when the club's pre-season begins)," said the 29-year-old Oman international.
"It is going to be a very important season and we have to be ready for that."