U's are a selling club - Boothroyd

COLCHESTER United will “always be a selling club” according to manager Aidy Boothroyd.

Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United will “always be a selling club” according to manager Aidy Boothroyd.

With less than four weeks until January, speculation is already rife as to who Boothroyd will sign and sell in his first transfer window as U's boss.

And while the 38-year-old confirmed his admiration for Scunthorpe midfielder Grant McCann, he also admitted that the Essex club's best players will always eventually move on.

“We'll always be a selling club,” said Boothroyd, after successfully negotiating a one year contract extension with promising defender Magnus Okuonghae, the 23-year-old stand-in skipper's deal now running until 2012.

“But if you can keep hold of your best players for that little bit longer and they can take the club forward then that is what it's all about.

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“It's strange to talk about players leaving at this early stage, but at this moment in time I see him (Okuonghae) as a key part of a strong spine of the team; Ben Williams, Magnus, John-Joe (O'Toole) and Clive (Platt) have been excellent since my time here.

“I have got high hopes for him (Okuonghae). He's come a long way in a short space of time, but, while he's still got a lot to learn, he's got the raw essentials and attitude to get better.

“He'll certainly learn by playing regularly and being around the likes of Joe Dunne, John Ward and myself.”

One player that has been linked with a move to Colchester in the New Year is Northern Ireland midfield playmaker Grant McCann.

The 29-year-old - who was managed by U's assistant manager John Ward for four years at Cheltenham - has over 300 Football League appearances to his name and has been a regular for the newly-promoted Iron in the Championship this season.

“The rumours have started so it must be getting near January!” said Boothroyd.

“We are interested in a number of players and I do like Grant McCann. I've liked him for a long time, but he's a Scunthorpe player so we can't do anything about that and I won't be adding to any speculation.

“Central midfield is an area of the team I will be looking at and, while I know and like him (McCann), he is just one of many players in that position that I like.”

One player who is likely to leave the U's in the near future is left-back Matt Lockwood. The 33-year-old has returned from a short-term loan spell at high-flying League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge to be told he will not be offered a new deal at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

“Matt is a guy that needs to play football at his age,” said Boothroyd. “If you need to give bad news to a player then you have got to give it early. I've had a chat about the future with Matt and I've told him we won't be offering him another contract.”