Keith Curle on Charlie Wyke and transfer targetsAs Stuart McCall’s Saturday evening press conference confirmed Bradford City’s bid for striker Charlie Wyke, United boss Keith Curle admitted that the level of interest in the in-form forward was no surprise as his latest goal - number 18 for the season - earned the Cumbrians a draw against Barnet.
“I hope it isn’t his farewell goal,” Curle said. “We brought him here as a goal scorer and that’s been the case for us. He’s a very good team player who will get on the end of good team play and finish it off for you.
“He isn’t an individual who will beat four or five people, sit the keeper down and then score. That’s not his game, but he will score you goals. I’ve had good conversations with Charlie and I do think he’s a Championship player in waiting.
“He’s the only signing I’ve made that’s cost us transfer money. He’s taken his opportunity to show everyone what he can do and it’s been a kick start to his career. As I say, the ideal situation is that he will still be our player come Wednesday morning.
“Bradford have made their offer and I think there’ll be more, possibly even from a higher level than that. Are we going to be able to withstand offers in excess of half a million pounds? That’s more like the valuation I put on him, and you’d think that if it does reach that level we will then have to go shopping to replace him.”
“We’re ready for both situations, in terms of Charlie going and money does come in, or if he stays with us and it doesn’t,” he commented. “I’ve spoken to the football club about both the money and the potential saving on wages getting put back into the pot. We’ve identified targets for different scenarios, which is something we always do.
“There were a lot of scouts here today and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few phone calls from people enquiring and finding out what the bidding is at for him. To repeat what I’ve said, if we get to Wednesday morning and he’s still a Carlisle player we’ll be very happy. I think his performance showed his maturity because he’s got his head on, he wants to score goals and he wants to play for us. I think that’s massively important.”
“Outside of that situation, we’re looking to add to what is a depleted squad,” he revealed. “Our priorities are changing on a daily basis. I’ve got two players lined up and I hope to get positive answers from them on Monday morning. Ultimately I’m looking to bring in two, potentially three players.
“One of the clubs we spoke to last week said they were in agreement on the finances proposed, but the manager wanted the player available for this weekend. I have to respect that. One was very close to getting over the line for today, but that didn’t happen because of the player’s personal circumstances.
“There was another where the parent club wouldn’t release the player for today but they want further negotiations on Monday morning. We’re very much in the hands of other clubs. There are a few players we’re looking at so if we get a ‘no’ on any of them we’ll look at other options.
“It will be a little bit frantic but ideally we’ll be going for the targets we’ve already identified first and foremost. There are a few players who aren’t a priority in terms of coming straight into the team, but we see them as being progressive for the squad.”
When asked about the amazing crowd funding effort, which raised over £11,000 for the transfer kitty in just four days, he said: “It’s an absolutely phenomenal effort. The representatives from the group which has been collecting the money have spoken to Nigel [Clibbens] to find out what needs to be done to make sure that money is available for the manager to spend on bringing new players in. It’s a fantastic gesture and if I could personally go round and thank every single person who donated, I would.
“It shows that the unity we’re trying to build is coming. I think when I first came into the club there was an air of caution, because I wasn’t familiar with Carlisle. Previously they’d recruited from within and new managers had come in and done things how they’d always been done.
“I came in with a different approach and a different mindset, with some different outlooks on how I wanted things done. I think because I wanted to change things for the betterment of the football department the supporters appreciated it. I’m very demanding and I like things done the right way, which sometimes means I want them done in a different way.
“The supporters have bought into what I’m trying to do and ultimately the backing they give the players is very much appreciated. There was still a good turnout from our fans today, if you look at the poor weather and travelling support.
“They know the wins are coming and they stuck with us at the beginning of the season when we drew a few games. When we were on the unbeaten run the fans were phenomenal. Now we’re in a sticky patch there’s nothing better than having your supporters with you.”