CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is looking for a quick resolution over Chris McCann’s contract negotiations.
Burnley report back for pre-season training a week on Thursday, and Howe is looking to nail down his squad as he begins preparations to face Watford in the seasonal opener on August 6th.
McCann is out of contract at the end of the month, and has been mulling over a number of offers to stay with the club, where he has made 175 appearances since progressing through the youth ranks.
His representative met with operational director Brendan Flood late last week, and Howe is eager to finalise matters.
He said: “We’re still in discussions with Chris, but it is getting nearer to pre-season now and hopefully we are getting there with him.
“The deal has to be right for Chris, but, obviously as we get close to returning for pre-season, I would like to think things will come to a conclusion sooner rather than later.
“I’ve got to get the squad ready and get down to the important work ahead of the season.”
McCann, 23, celebrates his birthday on July 21st, but, should he fail to agree terms and decide to move to a domestic rival, the club would be eligible for a fee – which, if not settled between the clubs, would, in turn, go to a tribunal.
Bolton are believed to be one of a couple of potential suitors for McCann, should he turn down the chance to stay at Turf Moor, but the club are hopeful of convincing him to prolong his Burnley career.
He captained the side in the final game of the season at home to Cardiff – only his fourth appearance since January 2010, having recovered from a series of knee problems and a head operation to remove excess fluid.
Howe is still being frustrated in his efforts to add further to his squad, and feels if he can tweak things in the right areas, the foundations are there to push forward: “I think there is a strong base to build on, and it’s just a case of bringing in a bit more quality in certain areas.
“I think we will be okay, but you also have to bear in mind that with Martin Paterson, Charlie Austin and hopefully Chris McCann back from long-term injuries, it will be like having three new signings in effect.”
One player high on the hit list for Howe is Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork, whose season finally came to an end on Sunday night as England Under-21s were eliminated from the UEFA European Championship Finals by two late Czech Republic goals.
Cork didn’t get off the bench in the Young Lions’ three group games against Spain, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, as Stuart Pearce’s side failed to register a win in Denmark.
And, with Pearce having ruled out any transfer activity while his players were on international duty, the race for Cork is now set to step up.
Howe said: “From Jack’s point of view, now the tournament is over, I’m sure he will want to concentrate on next season and getting himself sorted out, wherever that is.
“I expect things to move on quite quickly now, so we’ll wait and see what happens in the next few days.
“We’re still in there fighting for him and hopefully we can sort something out.”