Burnley boss refusing to compromise
CLARETS boss Eddie Howe continues to play a waiting game as he looks to add to his squad.
Howe is prepared to be patient as he tries to add to the signing of right-back Luke O’Neill, snapped up for £80,000 earlier this month.
And while there is a clamour to bring players in among supporters, Howe doesn’t want to scrimp on quality and move down his list of targets just yet.
He tried to play a similar game last summer, particularly over the loan signing of Stoke City utility man Ryan Shotton, but ultimately lost out on his signature.
And he will again bide his time, within reason, while he retains hope of landing the players he wants most of all.
Howe has reignited his interest in centre-back Jason Shackell this summer, having failed to lure him from Barnsley last year.
Derby have turned down four bids for the former Norwich man already, with two believed to be from Burnley – but it appears the Rams have had a rethink over their skipper’s future.
Leeds United midfielder Adam Clayton is another player Howe would like to bring to Turf Moor, but he faces stiff competition for his signature – with his former Leeds boss Simon Grayson hoping to take him to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town.
And Howe said: “The difficulty we have is we want players who are better than what we have, and that’s incredibly difficult because we’ve got a good squad.
“We’ll try to bring in the best players possible with the money we’ve been given.
“You give your top targets every chance of coming off.
“If they don’t, you have to reassess and we will do accordingly, but while we still feel we’ve got an opportunity and a chance we’ll endeavour to bring them in.”
O’Neill arrived from non-league, and while supporters would like to see some Championship experience brought in, Howe is looking at all markets as he tries to spend what budget he has wisely.
He said: “There has to be a balance, we’ve definitely got one eye on the Conference market, lower Football League, because we certainly believe from our time and experience lower down there are some good players down there.
“You only have to look at other clubs, and our own players, to see how well some have done when they’ve come up.
“By and large, ours have all done really well.
“But we have to have an eye on other avenues, Premier League loans, players released by Premier League clubs, the Rangers scenario, clubs maybe struggling financially, and maybe foreign players as well.
“It’s trying to pick the best players with the money we have.”
Howe has cast an eye over the players set to leave Rangers, and he has been linked with a move for former Clarets forward Kyle Lafferty, although I understand that is unlikely.
The player is believed to be attracting interest from other SPL clubs, as well as clubs on the continent.
As Howe looks to keep the rest of his squad together, following the club record sale of Jay Rodriguez to Southampton, as revealed last week, the door remains open for winger Keith Treacy to impress at Turf Moor, following his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season, although Burnley have had enquiries for for the one-time Republic of Ireland wideman – with Wednesday and Barnsley believed to have expressed an interest.
There is also interest in captain Chris McCann, who has one year remaining on his contract.
Swansea were keen on the 24-year-old, before Brendan Rodgers took up the reins at Liverpool.
But I understand Premier League rivals Norwich and Stoke have also weighed up the prospect of making a move for the Dubliner.