Mikael Forsell not for Burnley FC

Mickael Forsell is not Burnley bound
Mickael Forsell is not Burnley bound

BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe has no interest in former Chelsea striker Mikael Forssell.

Speculation in the Sunday tabloids suggested Howe was keen on the 30-year-old Finnish international, after being released by Bundesliga side Hannover 96.

But I understand there is no truth whatsoever in stories linking the Clarets with a move.

Forssell currently plies his trade with Bundesliga side Hannover 96, having spent the last three seasons in Germany.

He joined the club on a free transfer in June 2008 from Birmingham City.

He started his career in his home country with HJK, before earning a move to Chelsea at the age of 17, in 1998.

However, with extreme competition for places, Forssell played most of his football in England out on loan, having two spells at Crystal Palace and Birmingham, as well as a stint with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Forssell joined Birmingham permanently in 2005, for £3m, but at the end of his three-year contract, after the Blues were relegated to the Championship, he moved on a Bosman free transfer for Hannover 96.

He is now a free agent since his contract with Hannover ran out at the end of the season.

Forssell has a goal-scoring pedigree, netting 51 in England - and twice bagged at Turf Moor for Palace 10 years ago in the league and Worthington Cup.

But reports in the national press linking the Clarets with a move for the man who has won 74 caps for Finland are wide of the mark.

It remains to be seen whether Howe is looking to land another striker, although Steven Thompson was released at the end of the season.

He still has 15-goal top-scorer Jay Rodriguez, Chris Iwelumo and the fit-again duo Charlie Austin - Howe’s first signing in January - and Martin Paterson at his disposal, while 19-year-old striker Dominic Knowles has signed a new 12-month deal, and fellow young forwards Wes Fletcher and Alex MacDonald have both been offered new contracts to stay at the club next season.

Howe is keen to start his summer business as soon as possible, and it’s no secret that centre back is an area he would like to bolster, while one of his most critical tasks is to secure the future of midfield pair Chris McCann and Jack Cork.

Howe said recently: “I would like to start moving straight away.

“We are actively looking for players and working hard behind the scenes.

“But these things will be done at their pace.

“I’m keen to get the squad together as early as I can though.

“I like to have my squad in place for the majority of the season to go on and build, but sometimes it’s taken out of your hands.

“I’d expect there to be some movement at this stage but it’s difficult to say how much.

“I’m keen to bring in some players where we need to.

“I’m sure it will unfold in the next few weeks.”