Third bid for Stephens is rejected

Dale Stephens
Dale Stephens

Burnley have failed with their third bid for Brighton’s Dale Stephens.

And the Clarets face opposition for his signature.

The Seagulls have had four offers for the 26-year-old turned down so far this summer, three from one club – Burnley – and an unnamed rival, believed to be Crystal Palace.

A fortnight ago, the Clarets had two bids, the latter for £4m, rejected, and have subsequently seen another fail.

The rival bid also failed to tempt Brighton to sell.

Stephens was not in the Brighton squads for ether of their two friendly games on Saturday, at Luton and Stevenage, having missed Tuesday night’s warm up game against Fulham at Aldershot after suffering a kick on the knee.

The Bolton-born player is expected to be fit tomorrow night against Oxford United.

Burnley also had a third bid for Derby midfielder Hendrick rejected last week.

The Clarets had an initial £3.5m offer for the 24-year-old turned down by the Rams, but returned with an improved package, believed to be in the region of £5.5m for the Republic of Ireland international, who shone at Euro 2016, starting all four games for Martin O’Neill’s side.

Derby were not prepared to accept that either, and a third offer, in excess of £7m, has also been knocked back.

Sean Dyche said on Saturday: “We’re still working, the chairman is hopefully working on a few things and we’ll see what develops from there.

“There are a number of things. We try to do our business privately, and discretely when we can.”

Speculation that Tendayi Darikwa and James Tarkowski were offered to the Rams on loan as part of the Hendrick deal is well wide of the mark.

Dyche is pleased with former Brentford man Tarkowski, who arrived in January for £3m, as he said: “Tarky is looking sharp and really fit, and Kevin Long as well. Some people forget about him but he’s a player we really like here.”

Long has also been linked with a loan move to League 1 Coventry City, though Dyche said on the prospect of players going out on loan: “It’s too early for that with the squad situation, the loan situation has changed, so we have to be careful. We have to make sure we have enough to take on a Premier League season.”