Burnley remain in a strong position over James Tarkowski - boss Sean Dyche

With suggestions West Ham have ended their pursuit of James Tarkowski, Burnley boss Sean Dyche admits “there’s nothing going on.”

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 10:30 pm
James Tarkowski

The Hammers have reportedly turned their attentions to other targets having had two bids, the second for £20m rising to £30m, turned down by the Clarets.

Leicester City are also long-time admirers of the 27-year-old, but have yet to make a move, with the window closing on October 5th.

Tarkowski has yet to feature so far this season with what has been described as a toe injury, although he has a chance of featuring at Millwall on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup third round.

And Dyche said, asked whether there had been any fresh approach for the former Oldham man: “There’s nothing going on.

“I’ve got no other thoughts than him being in our plans.

”That’s certainly my take on it and certainly my strong advice to the chairman and the board.

”We want the players that have done so well here to be here.

”We think that can help to continue the journey in the Premier League, quite obviously, having good players here.

“We don’t need the finance so therefore we’re in good shape to tick all the boxes that keep players at football clubs and keep playing well.“

Burnley, linked with Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall, only have three senior centre backs on their books in Tarkowski, skipper Ben Mee and Kevin Long, although 22-year-old Jimmy Dunne has started the last two games.

With Ben Gibson out on loan at Norwich City, Mee not yet fully fit after a thigh problem, and Tarkowski not risked in the first two games, Dyche would ideally like reinforcements in that area, but he feels his central defensive options are fine, when everyone is fully fit: “With all fit, obviously Gibbo has gone down to Norwich but Jimmy Dunne has done enough in the lockdown period and playing the other day to at least show us what he’s about. And Longy’s done well over a number of years here.

“Obviously Tarky and Ben have kind of got a relationship and been very solid, and I think that’s a decent group of centre backs and long may it continue.

“You want those centre halves here.”

The uncertainty over Tarkowski’s future, and struggle to bring players in, have made for a difficult close season for Dyche.

Year on year he feels the transfer window has become more difficult for Burnley to operate in, and this has been the most challenging since his early days in charge: "This is the hardest one, yes.

"There have been tough times at other times. I think the very first one I had when we lost Charlie Austin two days before the season started and we'd only brought in three free transfers, not doing them down because they happened to become legends in a way here in Scotty Arfield, Tom Heaton and David Jones.

”They ended up being top top players, and top servants, don't get me wrong.

"But we still lost a top centre forward at that time.

"So from then looking to now, this is probably the biggest moment, where last season there were contract situations that went against us for whatever reason - we've been through all that - and now we haven't replaced them.

"You add in the injuries and all of a sudden it's certainly the most stretched we've been since I've been here."