Oldham trialists Jason Jarrett and Rod McDonald could be in line to win contracts at Boundary Park after impressing boss Paul Dickov.
The pair shone at the heart of the Latics' backline in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Premier League Wigan.
Jarrett has previously enjoyed a loan spell at Oldham but is now aiming for a permanent stay after leaving Port Vale in the summer.
With finances tight at the League One outfit Dickov accepts he will have to make the most of a restrictive budget.
"They have all done well," said Dickov in the Oldham Evening Chronicle.
"Jason Jarrett has been outstanding at centre-back - he looks as if he has played there a hell of a lot (rather than in midfield, where he has spent most of his career).
"We will try to sort things out, but sometimes circumstances dictate what I can and can't do.
"That isn't me moaning about it. If we go with what we have got at the moment and I can get what I want out of the boys - and what they want as well - then I will be delighted to start the season with what we have got."
Meanwhile, widespread reports have suggested Oldham have rejected two bids from Blackpool for highly-rated striker Tom Eaves.
The 18-year-old signed a five-year contract in the summer but is attracting interest from further up the football pyramid.
It is understood a bid in the region of £200,000 has been rejected by Oldham, with Pool boss Ian Holloway weighing up whether to increase his offer.