Shackell speculation intensifies as Clarets open friendly schedule with win in Geneva

Burnley captain Jason Shackell.

Burnley captain Jason Shackell.

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Burnley opened their pre-season schedule with a 2-1 win over Swiss Third Division side Etoile Carouge in Geneva.

But the absence of skipper Jason Shackell, reportedly with a calf problem, added to speculation about his future amid continued interest from former club Derby County.

Shackell had trained earlier in the day at club’s camp in Evian over the border in France, but was not risked.

The rumour mill went into hyperdrive, but while Derby remain keen to bring Shackell back to the Ipro Stadium - and are not giving up their pursuit as it stands - the situation has not moved on significantly since the Rams had an offer of up to £2m rebuffed last month.

I understand Shackell feels he has unfinished business in the East Midlands, and would not be averse to a return to a club where he spent a solitary season before a £1.1m move to Turf Moor three years ago, but the ball is firmly in Derby’s court.

There were suggestions of a deal involving cash plus Richard Keogh last weekend, which is likely to appeal to Burnley - a profit on a player who has been virtually ever-present for three seasons, plus a younger replacement - and it appears the speculation isn’t going to go away any time soon.

Meanwhile, there was also no Jelle Vossen in the squad, with the Belgian striker, signed from RC Genk for around £2.5m on Tuesday, still to receive international clearance.

In the low-key warm-up clash, Michael Kightly curled an effort over before Matt Taylor headed over a Kightly cross, but the Clarets went ahead after 16 minutes when Taylor’s shot was pushed out by the keeper and Lukas Jutkiewicz turned the ball in from close range - his first goal since netting six in pre-season 12 months ago.

Kightly was involved again as he curled a shot just past the post after an interchange with Jutkiewicz, as Burnley went in 1-0 up at half-time.

Sean Dyche made nine changes at half-time, with Kightly and Marvin Sordell continuing, before being replaced by Steve Hewitt and Danny Lafferty just after the hour.

George Boyd doubled the lead five minutes before the change when firing in left-footed from a free kick routine, but the hosts pulled one back nine minutes from time when Matt Gilks upended Fernandez and Dupont converted from the spot.

Burnley starting XI: Heaton; Dummigan, Anderson, Duff, Lafferty; Taylor, Hewitt, Jones, Kightly; Jutkiewicz, Sordell. Second half XI: Gilks, Lowton, O’Neill, Mee, Ward, Arfield, Ulvestad, Boyd, Kightly (Laffety 61), Vokes, Sordell (Hewitt 61).