Danny Cowley is putting together his Christmas list as he looks to rebalance his Huddersfield Town squad and weed out those who do not want to be there.
The Terriers’ January dealing will have to bring down a bloated playing budget, but ask Cowley what the chances of selling top-scorer Karlan Grant without a replacement and his answer is unequivocal: “Over my dead body.”
“Christmas to me is about giving but it’s also about getting presents, isn’t it?” said the 41-year-old, whose side host Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Saturday. “I hope it’s a nice balance and a fair balance.
“Karlan’s one of my favourite toys and I don’t like giving away my favourite toys.
“If you lost Karlan Grant and didn’t replace him, that would be a huge problem. We’d all be fearful of what is to come.
“But I know as a football club we wouldn’t make that decision.
Christmas to me is about giving but it’s also about getting presents, isn’t it? Karlan’s one of my favourite toys and I don’t like giving away my favourite toys.Danny Cowley
“He’s scored a high quantity of goals for us this season and some high-quality goals as well.
“He’s played a big part in our resurgence and he’s valued very, very highly by us, he’s very, very important to us. It would take a monumental sum of money for us to even consider losing him at this stage.
“I’ve learnt in football never say never because it’s a fluid, crazy game but I’m absolutely confident that, come February 1, Karlan will be here.”
Cowley says he would not be doing his job properly if he did not make plans for Grant or any of the others he wanted being whisked away, with Huddersfield still to get their wage bill down to realistic Championship levels after relegation from the Premier League last season.
“We spend a lot of time working diligently to cover every eventuality because you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.
“We’ve got clarity from Phil (Hodgkinson, the chairman) and the board as to what we can and can’t do in January. Certainly there is an element of balancing the books. We’re probably over-budget in terms of where the club would like to have been so there is work to do and we will look to do that while adding the necessary players.
“These are new challenges, not challenges you would anticipate having to overcome at a Championship club, certainly one that’s been in the Premier League in the previous two years, but this is where we’re at. We can either bemoan it or find the answers.”