Burnley defender James Tarkowski reiterates desire to leave Turf Moor

James Tarkowski has reiterated his desire to leave Burnley.
James TarkowskiJames Tarkowski
James Tarkowski

The Clarets centre back was the subject of offers up to £30m from West Ham and Leicester City in the summer, but the club turned down all bids, as they were well below their valuation.

But, with Tarkowski's contract running until the summer of 2022, he insists he won't sign an extension, to put his future back in his own hands, with the club now likely to sell at the end of the season to get as much money as they can for the England international.

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The 27 year-old spoke to Telegraph Sport: “Burnley offered me a contract near the start of last season, which, for me personally, it was nowhere near what I was going to sign and I think the club understood. And they’ve come back again this year, and still, for me, it’s just not right.

“We’ve had two transfer windows now where the club have decided, for whatever reason, that whatever has been offered on the table hasn’t been enough and that’s fine because I signed a contract for four-and-a-half years. So I won’t whinge or not turn up, I just need to deal with it and get on with my football.

“But the longer my contract runs down, I feel I gain the control of my career more than Burnley having the control of it, which is what I feel like I need right now.

“There is nothing I have heard or has been put to me that makes me think there is a scenario in which I would sign a new contract at Burnley. That can change, but currently that is the situation.”

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Tarkowski sat out the first two league games, as well as the first two rounds of the Carabao Cup, with a toe problem, before returning at Newcastle United, but, with the side struggling at the bottom of the table, and having been out of the England picture since March 2019, he feels a move is in his best interests: “I signed a contract and I’ve got to stick to that and play it out, and I want to give my best for Burnley. I’m not just going to let it be a case of getting the next year or whatever out of the way.

“Burnley is a really close club and I like to think I’ve always had a tight relationship with the fans, and I wouldn’t want that to change because I have such a lot of respect for them. I hope they also appreciate that I’ll always do my best for the club, but also that I will want to do the best for myself.

“If there are fans who are upset with me for not wanting to sign a new contract, then it’s their opinion and I understand they want the best for Burnley first and foremost. Just because I won’t sign a new contract, doesn’t mean it takes away from the commitment I have to my current contract.

“I’m not bitter about the last transfer window, what happened happened. I will never hold it against the club. That’s up to them, but the longer this goes on the more control I get of my own career which is what I want. I want to be able to decide where I am, where I’m going and who I’m playing for. That’s nothing against Burnley, but this is a short career and I’m not getting younger. I’m coming into my late 20s now and I want to experience as much as I can in the game before I retire.

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“The last window is obviously a missed opportunity for me. If clubs can’t get the player they want then they will go elsewhere and sign someone else, but I don’t worry too much about it because I’ve got great belief in myself.”