Date: 19th December 2011 at 10:19am
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A number of Championship clubs, including Burnley have all recently been linked with an interest in 25 year old Doncaster Rovers striker, Billy Sharp. The Clarets though if the rumour is true could face competition from Ipswich, league leaders Southampton, high-flying Cardiff and high-spending Leicester.

It would also cost the club at least a cool £3 million to bring him to Turf Moor due to a contractual release clause.

Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan has confirmed that there is a release clause in striker Billy Sharp`s contract with interested parties needing to offer £3 million in January for it to be triggered.

‘When the window opens on January 1st, Billy’s contract with Doncaster Rovers will include a release clause priced at exactly £3 million, said Ryan

‘Lots of clubs are circling. Southampton and Ipswich made previous bids. Anybody who matches that new figure can talk to Billy.”

Last summer, Ipswich had a £2.3 million offer turned down and Sharp also turned down a move to Southampton after the clubs had agreed a fee of £3.25 million.

Sharp is contracted to Doncaster until the summer of 2013 but it is understood the release clause comes into effect from this January.

If Burnley are interested in yet another striker it is bound to fuel speculation that we could be about to lose Jay Rodriguez or maybe even Charlie Austin or Martin Paterson, both of whom have just returned to the first team following injury.

Sam Vokes, on loan until January 15th may also be returning to Wolves soon unless Burnley are considering making a permanent offer or extending his loan deal.

It is not the first time we have been linked with Billy Sharp. Brian Laws was also keen to sign his former player. Sharp started his professional career with Sheffield United before moving to Scunthorpe under Laws in 2005. He returned to Bramall Lane in July 2007 for a fee of around £2 million.

A season-long loan to Doncaster Rovers followed in September 2009. Sharp then rejected a move to Turf Moor in the summer of 2010 despite the club having just been relegated from the Premier League with high hopes of a quick return to the top flight. This was also despite the fact that our £1 million bid had been accepted by Sheffield United. He finally signed for Doncaster Rovers in July 2010 for £1.15 million.

This season he is currently the struggling club’s top goal scorer with nine goals so far and during his time at the Keepmoat, he has netted at a rate of about one goal every two games.
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