Date: 12th July 2014 at 2:28pm
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The Rumour Mill was in full swing this week and Burnley were linked in the media with a number of players. The one mentioned the most was 25-year-old Middlesbrough striker, Lukas Jutkiewicz (pictured above). Some reports suggested we had changed tack after being knocked back in our efforts to sign Troy Deeney whilst others suggested we were still looking to sign both strikers. More of Deeney later but first let`s look at the Jutkiewicz speculation!

Jutkiewicz cost Middlesbrough £1.3m to sign the striker from Coventry City in January 2012 but last season he was sent out on loan to Bolton where he scored seven goals in 20 appearances.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka though has decided by all accounts that Jutkiewicz does not form part of his future plans which has triggered interest from a number of clubs including Championship clubs, Derby County, Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers. Premier League Burnley though are now thought favourites to sign the striker according to some media reports whilst others suggest we have lost interest so who knows. It is thought the asking price for the player is around £1.5 million. This is not the first time we have been linked with the player. There were reports in the January window that Sean Dyche was taking a look at the striker before he joined Bolton on loan. The Daily Telegraph now reports that Burnley, it seems, have agreed to meet the £1.5 million price tag and have been given permission to speak to the player and his agent. On the other hand, Sky Sports understands Burnley are losing patience with Middlesbrough in their pursuit of Lukas Jutkiewicz and are ready to pursue other targets. One player mentioned is Sunderland’s Danny Graham

Graham played under Dyche at Watford before joining Swansea City for £3.5m in the summer of 2012 so perhaps there is some truth in this rumour. Sunderland signed the striker from Swansea in January 2013 for £5 million on a three-and-a-half-year contract but the 28-year-old was sent out on loan to both Hull City and Middlesbrough last season notching up seven goals in total after failing to impress for the Black Cats. Graham started his professional career at Middlesbrough in 2003 and whilst on their books had a number of loan spells including Darlington, Derby, Leeds, Blackpool and Carlisle United. He was released by Middlesbrough in May 2007 and he then penned a two-year deal with Carlisle United the following month. Watford signed him on a two-year contract in July 2009. A tribunal later decided that Watford should pay an initial £200,000 in compensation to Carlisle, which eventually rose to £350,000. He was a prolific goal scorer for the Hornets netting 38 goals from 93 appearances.

Next up we take a look at the Troy Deeney saga! Watford`s top scorer was the subject of a failed bid by the Clarets last week. It would appear we were prepared to pay a club record of £6 million for the 26 year old. The Hornets though stung the Clarets by turning down the bid! Norwich City too also had a £5m bid turned down earlier in the summer begging the question how much would the club accept? It now looks like Burnley will have to be prepared to spend big if they are to stand any chance of bringing the hotshot striker to Turf Moor. The last campaign was Deeney`s most prolific. He netted 25 goals in 48 matches so you can see why clubs are keen to sign him. Burnley are expected to go back in with an improved offer according to the local press although some media reports suggests we have now moved attention instead to Jutkiewicz and Graham. The Watford Observer believes Burnley are the only club to have made an official offer but they understand that was an initial fee of around £4.5m with additional add-ons. Swansea too are reportedly interested in the striker. Sky Sports News reported this week that the Swans had made an offer in excess of £5m for Deeney but according to the Watford Observer, Swansea City have not made an official bid so the saga continues!

Let`s move on and looks at some of the other links this week. First a couple of young kids from the lower leagues arena are attracting interest from the Clarets according to the media. We continue to be linked with a move for Tamworth striker, Kaiyne Woolery and according to Tamworth FC boss Dale Belford, Burnley are still in the driving seat in the race to sign the 19 year old. A number of clubs are interested in signing him including West Brom, Swindon, Crewe and Gillingham. He caught the eye playing for the Conference side last season in his 18 league appearances despite mainly coming on from the bench. Burnley took Woolery on trial at the end of last season and have had him back at the club to have a second look at him ahead of the new season.

Belford speaking to the Tamworth Herald said:

Kaiyne’s been training with Burnley during the past fortnight and we should know more by the end of the week,

‘There’s been interest from West Brom too for a while and that hasn’t gone away totally, though it’s not quite so straightforward because of their change in manager and personnel.

‘Swindon, Crewe and Gillingham have also shown an interest over the last year.

‘But, by all accounts, things have gone well so far up at Burnley and I think that is his preferred choice. We will have to wait and see what happens.’

The Clarets have also been linked with a move for Isaac Layne. Who you may ask? Well apparently according to some reports he is a non-league teen sensation! The 19 year old striker currently plays for Billericay Town in the Ryman Premier which is the 7th tier of English football. Nevertheless he netted 11 goals in 28 starts last season despite often being used on the wing and the bigger boys began to take note! If the rumour is true they face strong competition from London club, Charlton though. Layne has been on trial with Charlton during pre-season and another London club, Premier League, QPR are also reportedly interested in signing him. Millwall and Southend according to rumours are keeping close tabs on the situation as well. It would appear Layne has a clause in his contract allowing any Football League club to buy him for just £1! Should appeal to Burnley then haha! Let`s move on!

The East Grinstead Courier recently linked Burnley, Leicester City, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Everton with a move for Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia but this week it was reported that West Ham United had made a £12 million bid for the player. If they did, it doesn`t sound like we can compete with that or can we? The 24 year old impressed at this year`s World Cup where he scored twice for Ecuador against Honduras and once against Switzerland. He currently plays for Pachuca and their president of the club, Jesus Martinez, has stated that an English club is closing in on their hotshot striker. Martinez told Ecuagol :

“There are various offers for Enner Valencia, the strongest and closest to what the player and us are demanding is from a club from England. We are making huge steps to finalise the negotiation,”

Talking of World Cup stars, we continue to be linked with Majid Bougherra He has 64 Algerian international caps to his name and represented his nation at this summer`s World Cup.

According to the Daily Star, Burnley along with Leicester City, Newcastle United, QPR, Crystal Palace and now Derby County are in the race to sign former Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic and Rangers defender. The 31 year old is a free agent having been released from Qatari outfit Lekhwiya and he is also reportedly seeking a move back to the UK. Bougherra has the the ability to play in both defence and midfield so his versatility could be attractive to Sean Dyche if the rumours are true.

Another link this week was a loan move for Manchester United`s highly-rated defender Michael Keane and reports suggest we could beat Cardiff City to his signing. The 21-year-old looks set to go on loan yet again to gain more experience, having previously had successful spells in the Championship at Derby County and Blackburn Rovers last season. It is thought a chance to play at Premier League level this time could be better for his development and United are believed to be keen on the idea of keeping Keane in the north west which could scupper Cardiff`s 12 month loan intentions.

Any hopes of Clarets fans that they could be seeing David Nugent and Chris Baird back in a Claret and Blue shirt next season though have been scuppered. David Nugent has signed a new two-year contract with Leicester City. Nugent had been a free agent after his contract expired at the end of last season and had been linked with a move away from Leicester City with Hull City, Swansea City, West Ham United, Burnley and Middlesbrough all reportedly interested. Baird meanwhile as expected has now joined West Brom. The 32-year-old defender was available on a free transfer after the expiry of a short-term deal at Burnley and an offer to extend his contract at Turf Moor was on the table but he chose instead to become a Baggie after securing a one-year deal.

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