Date: 8th June 2014 at 9:03am
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The silly summer season is underway in the world of transfer rumours and speculative managerial changes. Burnley were linked this week with losing both their manager and key striker. The club have made a number of statements in recent months confirming their intention to hold onto their key players and indeed manager in preparation for their new life in the Premier League but that doesn`t of course stop the speculation. Naturally being in the Premier League does now put us in a much better financial situation and indeed as the club often states at least we don`t now have to sell players to draw even. Being in the top flight gives us a better chance of retaining ambitious players as well and keep some of the top flight predators at bay but god only knows what might have happened had we failed to achieve promotion and remained in the Championship! Strangely in many ways had we not been successful, our manager Sean Dyche may well not have been such an attractive catch in his own right and perhaps it is now inevitable that he would come into the running should managerial positions at top flight clubs become available. This would appear to be the situation at West Brom. According to the Lancashire Telegraph this week, Dyche could become a contender for the vacant position at West Bromwich Albion following the departure of head coach, Pepe Mel if the local sources are correct. It is thought the Baggies directors have drawn up a shortlist of six potential managers with some having already been interviewed. Former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood may well be one of those but it is thought he might not have 100% support at the Hawthorns. If Dyche is on the list, it would appear for the moment at least he has not been contacted about the role. There are however also a number of factors that could scupper such a move. For one thing Burnley would demand a significant compensation package and that is something that West Brom might not be willing or able to provide. Would Dyche in any case be tempted by a move to West Brom where the expectations and pressure at the Hawthorns would be significantly higher than they would be at Turf Moor? He would also face a major rebuilding of the squad with eleven players including five loans having since left the club. It was a disappointing season for the Baggies and they only just avoided relegation finishing in 17th spot just three points clear of the drop zone. The expectations would be to finish much higher than that next season and the pressure would certainly be on. Burnley`s top priority will be simply survival next season and a 17th place finish would be good enough for that even if it would be somewhat nervy! Burnley fans though will no doubt remain twitchy until the new season kicks-off and we certainly don`t want a repeat of the Coyle saga be it before the season starts or in the New Year.

Speculation surrounding Danny Ings also hotted up this week with reports that Newcastle United were now keen on signing the England Under 21 International. According to local reports in the Sunderland Echo, Newcastle United could turn their attention to Burnley striker Danny Ings after it would appear their failure to sign Leeds United striker, Ross McCormack. Leeds owner, Massimo Cellini insisted this week that he had rejected an offer for McCormack. e disappointed with the controversial Italian`s statement. Cellino said: “Newcastle made an offer for McCormack and I said no. He is happy to stay here and that made me proud.”

Ings has twelve months left on his contract and Burnley face a somewhat agonising decision whether to cash in now or risk losing out completely next season after his contract expires. It is thought Ings could command a fee of around £8 million but is also believed manager Sean Dyche hopes to negotiate a longer deal for his key striker before the start of the new campaign in the top flight. Liverpool and Southampton have also been linked with a move for Ings in recent times and the pressure could be on the club should they wish to retain him. Danny Ings himself though does not appear to be phased by all the speculation. He said recently when asked how he is handling the gossip:

“I don`t need to handle it. I`m just enjoying my football. I`ve still got a year left on my contract and I`m a player for Burnley Football Club.”

On a more cheerful note at least we have also been linked with bringing in new players and three in particular have been mentioned this week. Republic of Ireland international and Derby County captain Richard Keogh is one such player thought to be on Burnley`s radar. Crystal Palace and Aston Villa are also thought to be keeping an eye on developments. Keogh left Coventry City and signed a three-year contract with Derby County in June 2010 for an undisclosed fee believed to be in excess of £1 million. He also previously played for Stoke City, Bristol City and Carlisle United as well as a number of clubs out on loan including Víkingur, Wycombe Wanderers, Huddersfield, Carlisle and Cheltenham. The 27 year old recently endured the heartbreak of failing to captain his side to victory against QPR in the Championship Play-Offs Final at Wembley last month and he could now be tempted to leave the club and play in the top flight after all! It would be somewhat of a coincidence though if Burnley sign yet another Derby defender and captain with Jason Shackell of course already on our books.

According to the Daily Mail, Burnley also want to bring Manchester City midfielder Emyr Huws to Turf Moor on loan. The 20-year-old impressed on loan in the Championship last season playing for Birmingham and it is now thought that his parent club would be keen to let him join a Premier League side on loan next season to gain experience. Huws, born in Llanelli, came through Swansea`s youth squad before joining City`s in 2009. He has also had a loan spell at Northampton whilst on City`s books joining the Cobblers for three-months in October 2012. In March 2014, Huws made his international debut for Wales in a friendly against Iceland . He also played in Wales’ defeat to Holland in Amsterdam on Wednesday this week and a number of Premier League scouts were in attendance to watch him by all accounts! It is thought Swansea are also interested in signing their former player and if so that could foil Burnley`s attempts to bring him to Turf Moor assuming of course any of the links are true.

The Clarets have also been linked with an interest in defensive midfielder Prince Oniangue who currently plies his trade with Reims in France. The 25-year old is also handy in front of goal scoring eight times from 20 appearances last season. According to Sky Sports, Burnley along with Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers have been monitoring the situation.

Reims have apparently already rejected one approach from a Premier League side for Oniangue but it is thought an offer in the region of ?5m could be enough to allow his to leave. Oniangue born in Paris has played all his football in France so far. His senior clubs include Rennes, Angers (loan) and Tours as well as Reims. He is also a Republic of Congo International.

It was reported recently though that Sean Dyche would be looking closer to home to enhance his squad so links with a player in France would appear to be wide of the mark. It looks unlikely there will be investment in players from overseas, largely because Burnley`s scouting network does not yet stretch that far. Dyche does not appear to have entirely ruled it out though but said recently:

“There have been occasions where it`s been mooted around that I`m not interested in European players and that`s absolutely not the case,

“At my last club at Watford we didn`t have the finance to recruit properly from Europe, and we`re similar here now.

“We have a recruitment department; we`ve worked hard to build it over the last year if not 18 months.

“But to go into Europe that`s increased costs in wages, increased personnel, and all of those costs have to be paid for.

“So we have to look at the English market first because we know it as a staff and our recruitment people know it.

“The odd one possibly might align from our contacts outside of Great Britain, but they still have to be appropriate for the needs of the club and to help move it forward.

‘The reason why the European market has opened up to a lot of clubs is because they put a lot of resources into recruiting from that market and that means a lot of personnel on the ground watching game after game, player after player. We haven’t been in a situation to be able to afford to do that so therefore it does narrow our market slightly.”

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