Clarets Technical Director Mike Rigg armed with portfolio of targets ahead of transfer window

Burnley's Technical Director Mike Rigg has been issued with a comprehensive portfolio of targets in readiness for the January transfer window.

Friday, 14th December 2018, 4:05 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 4:12 pm
Mike Rigg was appointed last month
Mike Rigg was appointed last month

The former head of player acquisition at Manchester City, who worked on deals for the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure during his time at the Etihad Stadium, is ready to do business in, what he described as, an 'impossible' environment.

Rigg, 49, confirmed that the club will be looking to make deals happen next month but re-iterated that being active doesn't necessarily guarantee success.

With the new role demanding his constant care and attention, Rigg said: "It is 24/7. That's the nature of the transfer window. It's all day, everyday.

Mike Rigg was appointed last month

"It is busy. It's always busy. Will we be doing lots of business? I don't know that and I can't answer it until we get in to January and we see what presents itself.

"We definitely want to do business if it helps us here and now. There's no negativity it's just about making sure it's sensible.

"Ultimately, and this is something I'm very passionate about, it's about giving Sean the first and last say."

He added: “Our head of scouting Martin Hodge, who has been here for three years now, him and his team have been working on targets for a long time, which is quite comprehensive.

“It’s one thing having targets, it’s another thing being able to get them and that’s not because of just our circumstances.

"That’s quite often if we want, for example, to buy a player from Leeds, but Leeds are pushing for promotion and they don’t want to sell that player.

"Even if they’re on our target list there’s no guarantee that you get this player unless you then go and make a ridiculous offer, which then doesn’t make sense in both terms of transfer fee and wages."

Rigg, who has held a variety of high-profile roles within domestic and international football, will head up the process of talent identification and recruitment throughout the whole club, from Academy to first team.

He accepts that there is pressure taking on such responsibility so close to the transfer window but reaffirmed that there would be no desperation purchases.

The club has a structure in place, a strategy that accounts for all eventualities. "There's always pressure," he said.

"The transfer window is ridiculous. The only people that really enjoy it is the media because there's a great story going on. I can't just come in and change things overnight.

"We've got good systems in place here - I can't make significantly huge differences but I will contribute and support as best I can towards the window.

"It's not a case of walking through the door and everything being sorted. If we can try and do some good business in January, then we will do.

"January is an impossible window because nobody wants to sell and if they do sell it's ridiculous money.

"January is difficult for every club so there are no promises from any perspective in January because it's so tough. I think the real difference will be the longer term - we've got to get focused on the summer."

The one-time employee for both the English and Welsh FA, who has also held roles with Wrexham, Chester, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham, added: "The system has to be there to plan for all eventualities.

"Everybody knows what the transfer window is like, how you start off at the start looks completely different to how it looks at the end, and that's at every club.

"You've got to cover all bases and expect the unexpected. Touch wood (any changes) that happen to your squad happen through design.

"But they can happen through people agitating moves, through injuries, and I think what we've got to make sure that we do over the longer term is not get caught out, and you do that by planning.

"That's all about a system and a process. It's just a game of poker. It's a fine balancing act.

"I get completely the fans want to see ambition and more players, and if we can do that, of course we want to strengthen the team.

"But we also need to manage expectations that the bigger picture is we don't want to get to the summer and have regrets about various things in January."