BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Lee Bowyer has revealed that he has given his approval to Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet selling five players – provided he gets four signings in who he has identified as improving his squad.
The Addicks caretaker boss, speaking exclusively to the South London Press, says he is happy to work with a smaller playing personnel but is looking to boost the quality in his ranks.
Bowyer, who recently agreed to stay on as manager as takeover talks continue, said: “I’ve told the owner he can sell five and give me four.
“I have spoken to two players. They have met me and Steve [Gallen, head of recruitment] and they are two we are looking to bring in.
“One is a striker and one is a midfielder. They will make us better. I’d rather have a smaller squad with better players than a bigger squad.
“I know behind the scenes that Steve and the owner are working on one of them as we speak. He’ll make us a much better team.
“I’m not hiding anything. Me, the owner and Steve are trying to make us stronger. Give me those four players – one of them is a bit hit and miss because of the position he plays – and we’ll be top-six and pushing for the top two. That is 100 per cent.
“I know the quality of this squad because I have worked with them for a year, and more so at the end of the season. What do I need? What let us down at the end of last season? These are the players that I feel will get us to the next level.”
Bowyer also spelled out that one of the players who there are no plans to move on is Mark Marshall.
“I never once said Mark Marshall could leave. He is not one of the five.”
Centre-back Ezri Konsa was sold to Brentford last week in a £3.5million deal.
Bowyer said: “It was time for Ezri to move on. He had reached that stage now where he needed to move on and go to the next level.
“Obviously it suits everyone – him for his career and the club financially. We got a bit of money in for him.
“I wish him all the best.
“That’s what Charlton do – produce good players. Unfortunately they move on – if we were in the Premier League they wouldn’t be moving on and they would be here. But unfortunately we’re in League One.
“Charlton Athletic does a great job of producing good players and they move on. That’s just football. That is not just us – it happens at a lot of football clubs.”