"I've talked to James McCarthy here about how patient Gary was and he went on to become a Champions League player," Coyle told the Daily Telegraph.
"It was difficult for James in the summer. Everyone James met said, 'Which club are you going to?'
"He's a fantastic player and a fantastic human being. His head was all over the place.
"I've said to James that if a Champions League club comes in for him - and he's that good he can play for anyone in that top six - I won't stand in his way.
"I don't want to dismantle the squad but equally there's a moral obligation to do right by the kid. He's been fantastic for Wigan. But we don't have to sell anybody."