OWEN Coyle has revealed the four players he wanted to bring to Blackburn Rovers last month and admits he was left feeling frustrated by a lack of January signings.
Rovers are now eyeing two potential free agent additions in a bid to strengthen their squad ahead of their crucial run-in in Paul Caddis and Lucas Mugni.
Lucas Joao was the only new face to arrive at Ewood last month, signing on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, while a work permit decision continues to hold up a move for Celtic defender Efe Ambrose.
Coyle revealed he had lined up potential deals for Rennes right-back Dimitri Cavare and Watford full-back Juan Carlos Paredes, as well as long-term targets Abdoul Ba from RC Lens and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Giles Barnes.
With all Ewood incomings needing the approval of the club’s hierarchy, Coyle said: “We worked hard to present players that we felt could add to the club if we could get those deals over the line.
“I had the opportunity to bring in Dimitri Cavare from Rennes on loan, we didn’t get that concluded, so I switched my attention to Paredes at Watford and I thought we had a chance to bring him in but he subsequently went to Olympiakos on loan.
“Everyone knows the interest in Abdoul Ba. We made three offers in August and coming in to January I worked very hard to present a case that we could get him for no fee but with a sell-on clause, because his contract was out in the summer.
“Giles Barnes was a player we looked to take on loan with a view to signing in August, that never happened, so in January I spoke with Vancouver Whitecaps and I was in a position where we probably could have got Giles Barnes on a free transfer if we could look after the salary aspect.
“We worked very hard to present those, unfortunately they didn’t get over the line, but all I can do is continue to present those cases to get players in to the club and Caddis and Mugni coming in as trialists gives us an opportunity to look at them to see if we can add to the squad because that’s what we want to do.
“No-one was more disappointed at the end of the transfer window than myself and my staff.”
Coyle admits new additions would give everyone at the club a lift, with right-back Caddis and attacking midfielder Mugni having trained with the first-team this week.
Both will have their fitness levels assessed, as the pair have both struggled for game-time so far this season, with Coyle saying any new additions would need to have an instant impact.
“Right-back is a position that we tried to strengthen in the January window,” Coyle added.
“Young Ryan Nyambe has done very well so I think the decision with regards to Paul will be can he help us and have that immediate impact, or would that not help with young Ryan’s development which is important to us as well.
“I think it’s an opportunity to look at the squad and where we can strengthen.
“Lucas Mugni is a very talented attacking midfield player, technically gifted, with lovely balance and touch.
“Both boys have trained well and we will make those decisions as to where we go from there.”