Burnley FC linked with £400,000 move for Celtic’s O’Dea

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe was linked with a £400,000 move for Celtic centre back Darren O’Dea at the weekend.

But while I understand the Republic of Ireland international defender is a player the club have looked at, the 24-year-old is not high on Howe’s wanted list.

The same applies to Tottenham Hotspur right back Adam Smith, who Howe signed on loan at Bournemouth last season.

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O’Dea was a target for former Burnley boss Owen Coyle, who was close to landing the player on loan in January 2009, ahead of the Carling Cup semi-final second leg tie with Spurs at Turf Moor, before moving for Middlesbrough’s Rhys Williams.

However, rumours of a £400,000 offer for O’Dea are wide of the mark.

The player is well-versed in Championship football, having spent time on loan at Reading and Ipswich Town over the last couple of seasons.

Meanwhile, Smith, who has been offered a new contract at Spurs, wants to test himself at Championship level after shining on loan at Dean Court.

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The 20-year-old helped Bournemouth reach the League 1 play-off semi-finals, and he said: “When I went to Bournemouth I did well and we went on a winning streak and started to climb up the table pretty quickly.

“Obviously, we managed to finish inside the play-off places and to lose in the semi-finals was disappointing, but overall it was a very good season for the fans and the club.

“I’ve done League 2 and League 1, so I do feel that next season is the right time for me to test myself at the next level, which is the Championship.

“I think that I can play at that level and hopefully I can replicate the form that I showed for Bournemouth last year in the Championship, so I’m definitely looking at that level next season.

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“There have been League 1 and Championship clubs showing interest and making offers for me, so I’ll see what is on the table when I come back off holiday and make the decision what is best for me then.

“I’m 20 now and I feel that I’ve matured a bit having gone out on loan a few times and at the end of the day it is a short career in football, so I want to play as many first-team games and go as far as I can in the game.

“I feel that next season is a big one for me and this decision about staying at Spurs or moving elsewhere is an important one in that sense.”

As Howe looks to land his first summer signing, one player he has expressed an interest in - Preston winger Keith Treacy - is not short of admirers.

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Preston North End boss Phil Brown revealed four clubs have made their interest known in the Republic of Ireland wideman, although they have yet to make any bids.

Newcastle United have been linked, along with Burnley, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest, but Brown said: “Keith is a player who will eventually play Premier League football.

“Hopefully that will be in a Preston North End shirt.

“I know that having had conversations with Keith, he is indebted to this club for giving him his chance. That wasn’t under my guidance, it was under someone else’s guidance.

“When I arrived at the club, I quickly recognised what Keith Treacy is - he is a quality player.

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“There’s been no firm offers for him. But I have had interest from four clubs - one of them a Premier League club, the other three being in the Championship.

“With that in mind, if we can manage to keep hold of Keith and our other better players, for me it is a firm indication from Preston North End that we mean business next season.

“But I also understand that finances can dictate things. If someone comes in and bids a ridiculous amount of money for Keith, the other side of the equation follows.”