Burnley's out-of-contract players are able to 'have a bit of a laugh about it', says midfielder Jack Cork

Burnley midfielder Jack Cork says that conversations surrounding player contracts might become slightly more serious when the season strikes the midway point.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 10:30 pm
Jack Cork and Ben Mee of Burnley celebrates after Charlie Taylor scores the winning penalty in the shootout during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on August 25, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The 32-year-old is one of 10 senior professionals at Turf Moor who will see their current deals expire at the end of the campaign.

The England cap revealed that talks within the group — in and around the training ground — have so far taken a light-hearted approach.

But the discussion might not be quite as jovial if individual circumstances remain unresolved come the close of the calendar year.

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James Tarkowski of Burnley acknowledges the fans after his sides defeat in the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on October 16, 2021 in Manchester, England.

"We have a bit of a laugh about it, yes," joked Cork. "It's a bit different as I think there's about eight of us out of contract at the end of the season!

"I think it's probably funny until around Christmas, then after that it gets a bit more serious.

"I feel like if you're doing well then the club will reward you. They are good like that.

"They do tend to run smaller contracts at times but they do give them out if you're doing well and are part of the team. It's how the club works, everyone knows the situation."

Burnley's Czech striker Matej Vydra (L) replaces Burnley's English striker Jay Rodriguez during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Turf Moor in Burnley, north-west England on July 15, 2020.

The ex-Chelsea man signed an extension with the Clarets in December, which was accompanied with the option of a further 12 months, reportedly in the club's favour.

That option has yet to be activated, leaving Cork in a similar position of uncertainty to the likes of skipper Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Matej Vydra, Erik Pieters, Phil Bardsley, Dale Stephens, Jay Rodriguez, Ashley Barnes and Aaron Lennon.

Cork is closing in on 200 appearances for Burnley, with 135 of those in the Premier League, placing him joint sixth on the Clarets’ all-time list for the competition.

And he'd appreciate the opportunity to keep adding to that.

He said: "I'm 32 and I feel fit so I like to think I've got a lot of years playing in me still. I've only had one real setback injury-wise so I'd like to keep playing as long as I can.

"I feel like I'm running as far as I have been, if not more and I'm still very competitive, I want the team to do well and I feel like I bring a lot to the team."

"It’s still early days. I’ve got an option to extend and it just depends how that goes."

Cork concluded: "I think they do that in a few of their contracts so we will see how the rest of the season pans out.

“I love it at Burnley, my family are settled here. We’ll just see how many games I play and how the situation is.

"It's obviously a big compliment for you to sign a contract at any stage of your career, probably even more so now as you're getting a little bit older and you don't know how long you have left in your career.

"So to get an offer and to feel appreciated is a nice feeling."