Burnley striker Rodriguez close to Turf Moor exit

CLARETS’ prized asset Jay Rodriguez has edged closer to sealing a club record move to Premier League newcomers Southampton.

The 22-year-old striker returned from holiday in Mexico yesterday and was set to undergo a medical at St Mary’s and talk personal terms, though it is understood that the south coast club were not demanding an immediate response to their proposal.

However, should everything run smoothly, the 21-goal front man could be unveiled as a Saint, teaming up with former Clarets team-mates Jack Cork and Danny Fox, by the weekend.

Nigel Adkins has been in the driving seat for Jay Rod’s signature almost since the transfer window re-opened, and had a £7m. bid accepted 11 days ago. But the club first expressed an interest in the England Under-21 international last summer, as their £5m. for the homegrown talent was shot down.

Rodriguez has attracted interest from numerous Premier League suitors, with Sunderland and Aston Villa, now managed by former Norwich City boss Paul Lambert, a keen admirer of the striker, said to be the latest clubs to join the list.

But with one solid bid on the table, a switch to Hampshire – a deal surpassing Steven Fletcher’s £6.5m. move to Wolves two years ago – is in Rodriguez’s hands.

The move could see Burnley’s leading scorer paired alongside the Championship’s most prolific marksman, Rickie Lambert, who scored 25 league goals last term, for Southampton’s return to England’s top tier, though Billy Sharp’s fruitful finish to the campaign, with eight goals in as many games, would also put him in contention.

In terms of strengthening at Turf Moor it remains unclear how much of the £7m. fee Burnley boss Eddie Howe will be given for his transfer treasure chest, with the club reporting a £4m. loss for the last financial year.

This year that figure will take into account the parachute payments from the season in the Premier League being cut from £14.5m. to £8m. But Howe will have more idea of his kitty once the Rodriguez situation has been resolved.

Meanwhile, Clarets defender David Edgar is likely to retain his place in Canada’s starting line-up for tomorrow night’s match with Cuba – their opening game of the CONCACAF third round of World Cup qualifications.

The 25-year-old played at right-back and helped to hold the United States to an impressive 0-0 draw in a match to mark the 100th anniversary of the Canadian FA.

After Friday’s game, Canada go on to host Honduras in Toronto on June 12th.

Edgar will then take a shortened break before returning to Gawthorpe for pre-season training with the Clarets early next month.