Despite escalating speculation, Michael Keane’s expected departure from Turf Moor is no nearer becoming a reality.
While Keane looks likely to leave Burnley this summer, with former Manchester United his most likely destination, I understand the club have yet to receive any official bids, or have any formal contact, from any interested parties.
Keane, who remains an injury doubt for Sunday’s final game of the season at home to West Ham with a calf niggle, has attracted a number of admirers, with Liverpool and Everton also strongly linked with the England international, along with United.
It is thought the players’ preference is for a return to Old Trafford, the childhood United fan having been at the club as a youth before signing a professional contract on his 18th birthday in 2011.
When he joined Burnley on a permanent £2m deal in January 2015, after an initial loan spell, United inserted a 25% sell on clause, which, should he return, would mean the Red Devils having to pay less for the £25m rated centre back than other interested clubs.
B oss Sean Dyche has said on numerous occasions that there is no need to sell, although he accepts: “We are always speaking to these players and their advisers because we are not powerful enough to just say ‘here is a pot of gold, you are staying’, we are not that club.”
And he said yesterday morning: “It’s just the wheels are turning in the media – nothing has changed over the last six months with Keano.
“It’s the way the media works, we’re coming to the end of the season and it’s when the speculation starts. We’re well used to it by now.”
Keane has trained in the gym this week, ahead of this morning’s session, and Dyche said: “We will have to make a late call on him for Sunday.”
Ben Mee also remains a doubt with a shin problem: “I don’t think Ben will make it, we have to be careful with that sort of injury.”
Burnley can finish as high as 11th if results go their way, and will finish above opponents West Ham with a win: “To be in a position to finish above West Ham is fantastic, the players have put a lot into the season and had their rewards. The first job is complete, to achieve what everyone wanted and stay in the league, so let’s see if we can finish well and see where it takes us.”