Coventry eye permanent swoop for Newcastle midfielder

Gael Bigirimana
Gael Bigirimana

Coventry boss Tony Mowbray could look to make the loan deal of Newcastle midfielder Gael Bigirimana permanent.

The League One outfit have six players on loan currently, with only five allowed in a match-day squad.

Bigirimana was the man to miss out of the matchday squad at Sheffield United on Sunday with the return to fitness of Joe Cole.

And Mowbray has revealed he hopes to solve his loan problem by making a couple of the deals permanent in January, with Bigirimana and Cole understood to be the deals Mowbray is most keen on.

Former England, Liverpool and West Ham United ace Cole is on loan from Premier League side Aston Villa but is surplus to requirements.

"It was a difficult conversation with Gael about not playing, being told he’s not in the 18," admitted Mowbray, who also has Adam Armstrong on loan from Newcastle.

"I had the same at the end of last season and it’s a reflection of where the club is really.

"We’ve got six loans and they’re all just about first picks so it’s a difficult scenario.

"It shows this club hasn’t got an underbelly.

"We need some players, Coventry City players who are signed, sealed and delivered with two years left on their contract.

"If someone wants to buy them we are in a strong position where we either don’t have to let them go or can negotiate a decent price for them and reinvest the money to buy some more players.

"January is three weeks away now and things could change then.

"Hopefully we might be able to firm up some of the loans to permanent signings and then the problem disappears, so I have some choices to make on a matchday over the next few weeks."

Mowbray admits it has been difficult keeping the players happy adding: "It’s not just about keeping Gael happy, it’s about keeping whoever happy because each game might dictate a different option for us.

"All six would get in the starting line-up so it’s a bit frustrating but there’s a lot of games and I have told them all that they have to accept it, take it on the chin and if there’s a day they have to sit on the bench or sit in the stand it’s not because they’ve been poor, it’s just they are being rested that day and have to be ready for the next one."