Burnley boss hopeful of keeping stars

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is determined to keep his squad together as the close of the transfer window approaches.

Friday, 27th January 2012, 7:30 am

Jay Rodriguez, Keith Treacy and Andre Amougou have been linked with moves away from Turf Moor ahead of the deadline at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

But if there is to be activity before then, Howe hopes it will be incoming, rather than outgoing.

Premier League Newcastle United are interested in 22-year-old striker Rodriguez, and sources in the North East claim the Magpies have enquired about the England Under-21 cap, who is top-scorer with 14 goals.

Alan Pardew had Rodriguez watched at Middlesbrough two weeks ago, as he netted the opener in a 2-0 win.

However, Newcastle have already moved to sign Senegal forward Papiss Demba Cisse from Freiburg this window, and, with Burnley keen to hold on to their homegrown star, it is thought Newcastle will make a move in the summer instead.

The club turned down an offer in excess of £5m from Southampton in the close season, and Howe is expected to look to tie up a new contract for the player, as well as Chris McCann, who also has 18 months remaining on his current deal, once the window has shut.

Treacy, meanwhile, has been linked with a switch to League One Sheffield Wednesday and former club Preston, just six months after moving across Lancashire.

The Republic of Ireland international has been in and out of the side, making 16 starts in all competitions due to fitness and form, and has lost his place in the Irish squad.

Howe insists he is staying put though: “Keith isn’t going anywhere. He’s back in the team again.

“We want to keep the squad together – we need everyone for the second half of the season.

“You hear all sorts of crazy rumours this time of year, but Keith won’t be leaving.”

Sky Sports claimed the Clarets were also interested in a loan move for Everton winger James McFadden, but while Howe was an admirer of the player, there is no substance to the story.

Amougou, having been hauled off in the FA Cup exit at Norwich and subsequently left out of the squad, is another player rumoured to be on his way out, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

He could still play a part, however, in the remainder of the campaign:.

Howe said: “He’s still a part of our squad, but the form of the back four has been so good, it’s difficult for him to get back in the side at present.”

Two players could be loaned out to gain further experience, with Kevin Long training with Rochdale with a view to a spell with the League One club – with John Coleman keen to link up with the Irishman again after enjoying three spells at Accrington Stanley.

And he could be joined by forward Alex MacDonald, who has been on the fringes of the first team squad, and recently captained the reserves as a right back.

Howe is still looking to add to his squad, after making Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee’s loan moves permanent during January, as well as adding Millwall forward Josh McQuoid on loan.

He said: “There’s nothing currently happening, but we have a couple of irons in the fire.

“I’m pleased with the squad, but if we can identify anyone that comes into our budget, we will look to do something.

“We don’t have huge finances to play with at this stage, but we always have an eye on things,”

Deadline day falls on matchday, with the Clarets in action at Nottingham Forest, and Howe added: “It’s a strange one, I don’t think we will be too active, unless we get a sudden injury. It’s not ideal for everyone, so we’re pleased to have done bits of business early, and hopefully we won’t be involved in the chaos on deadline day.”