Keith Curle on striker Charlie WykeManager Keith Curle spoke about the interest surrounding 17-goal striker Charlie Wyke at his Friday afternoon press conference.
“Bradford made a bid which, in our opinion as a club, hasn’t reached the value that we feel Charlie has for this football club,” he said. “It isn’t only Bradford who are interested at this moment in time, although they have tabled an offer.
“He’s a young man who has developed and who has performed here, and a goal scorer is always going to attract interest. I’ve told him that I think he will score goals in whatever division he plays, particularly if you put him in the right team.
“In my opinion he won’t score individual goals because he’s a team player and he scores team goals. He’ll get onto entries into the final third and he’s improving and progressing with us all the time. If he goes on to bag another 12 or 13 then we’re suddenly talking about a 30-goal striker who is playing in a successful team.
“The good thing is that because of the relationship I have with Charlie I know he’s a focused individual who is enjoying his football. That’s massive and it won’t change.”
“The conversations now will be between Charlie’s agent and the football club,” he continued. “Offers and potential suitors will be dealt with by Nigel Clibbens, but as far as Charlie and I are concerned he’s a player who is under contract and he wants to play football. His attitude is exemplary.
“On the figure we’re talking about, it’s more than has been discussed. If you’re going to go out and try to buy a striker who can score in excess of 25 goals a season you’ll find that they’re very difficult to come across. You certainly don’t get them for a small amount of money.
“What we don’t do as a club is talk about individual elements within people’s contracts. They’re confidential and they need to remain confidential. Clauses within these contracts can be very complicated so those discussions are left to other people. As his coach I will continue to concentrate on what he has done very well and continue to look for a consistent performance level out of him.
“Credit to the lad because all he keeps saying to me is that he wants to focus on his football. That’s good from him because it shows me that he wants to play in an environment where he is thriving and being successful. Long may that continue.”
On reports that a player at a the club had tabled a transfer request, he said: “Charlie hasn’t come to me or the club to say he wants to leave, and I’m a very approachable person. I’d be very disappointed if he came in and said that he didn’t want to play for me. I don’t think that’s the case with him at all. He’s in for training today and he’s available for selection tomorrow.
“I’m sure there will be a few clubs who have scouts in the stands tomorrow to watch what everyone has been talking about. Some of them have already identified an interest with me but Charlie is a good player, so that was bound to happen.
“Don’t be surprised if that interest continues right through to the end of the season and into the summer. Just because somebody makes a bid it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to sell the player. We’re not going to get pressurised into losing our assets.
“As far as I’m concerned I want Charlie to stay. Every player has a price, I’m well aware of that, and if people do meet that it can sometimes be of benefit to the football club. At the moment I don’t see the benefit of losing a top striker who I think can potentially score us the goals to get us to where we want to be.”
Confirming again that the player will available for the Saturday game, he said: “Part of the man management side of my job at the moment is making sure that Charlie is right. All he wants to do is focus on his game but I’ve told him to enjoy the speculation and the attention.
“He said he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on himself, but he’s a goal scorer and when things are going well, people who do that get attention. I’ve played some fantastic games, I’ve won tackles and headers, and not even got a pat on the back.
“But a centre forward can do nothing for 89 minutes then score a toe poke and he’ll get the Ferrari and the super models! I’ve told Charlie to enjoy it because he’s got a great opportunity to enhance the potential he’s got. He’s a brave lad, on the pitch and off it, and mentally I’ve got no doubt about his capacity to handle the attention.
“I wouldn’t consider not including him in the squad. I think that would be disrespectful to Charlie and it goes against the message I’m trying to tell him, which is to continue with what he’s doing. That’s why I know Charlie will go out without fear in his play.”
“Charlie is a contracted player at the football club and that continues,” he commented. “Charlie is on a very good contract - he’s got 18 months left - he’s very well paid and he’s got good incentives. We’re comfortable with where we’re at and with the contract Charlie is on.
“If someone makes a bid for a player we won’t just go and give him extra money because someone has shown an interest. We know there is going to be interest in Charlie. I think it ll shows fantastic business sense when we bought Charlie.
“We were in the lower reaches of League Two at the time, and I went to the football club and said I need £20,000 because I’ve got an opportunity to go and get a player who I think can potentially score us goals to get us out of trouble, and also put us in the right direction of where we want to go.
“The club backed me wholeheartedly and we were able to go and buy a player when a lot of people might not have seen that coming. He came in and scored the goals which kept us up, then scored goals to get us into the top half of the division, and he’s maintained that this season. Hopefully it will continue for him and for us.”