The JJB Stadium side are locked in negotiations with the 25-year-old ex-Crystal Palace player who has the ability to add extra dynamite to the Latics attacking line which smashed five past lowly Palace last weekend.
The news spells trouble for Reading who have been somewhat shaky at the back of late. Coppell's team were already frightened by the prospect of having to keep Geoff Horsefield and Nathan Ellington at bay.
However, Royals supporters can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. Although Barry Fry's Peterborough have agreed a fee with the mega-rich Latics, the league leaders are having some problems completing the deal as McKenzie is holding out for as much money as possible.
Jewell explained to the Latics official site: "We've had a bid accepted by Peterborough for the player but that's basically as far as it's gone so far. We've spoken to the player's agent but he's looking for too much money and therefore at the moment that means that no progress is going to be made.
"The deal's dead while the two figures are so far apart and that's basically all I can say on the matter."
Former Crystal Palace player McKenzie, who was reputedly targeted by the Royals in the summer, has already found the net seven times this season.
With or without McKenzie, Wigan are sure to prove a tough team to beat given there phenomenal form. Indeed, Coppell will surely be pleased if his side get as little as a point out of the game, recent performances considered.