Tarkowski keen to talk to Clarets?

Clarets target James Tarkowski is believed to be keen to discuss a switch to Turf Moor.
James TarkowskiJames Tarkowski
James Tarkowski

However, his club Brentford are holding out for £5m for the 23-year-old centre back.

Burnley are thought to have had an initial £2.3m offer rejected already this month for a player they were also interested in signing in January 2014, when the 6ft 3ins defender was at Oldham Athletic.

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But the Mancunian is said to want to discuss a move back to his native north west.

The two clubs – who meet in the Championship at Griffin Park live on Sky Sports on Friday night – are some way apart from agreeing a fee, though sources in west London suggest an offer of £3m plus a number of add ons could be an attractive compromise for the Bees.

Tarkowski did not feature in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to League 1 Walsall, rested amind the speculation.

And Bees boss Dean Smith said ahead of the game: “I speak to my players all the time. My policy is always to be honest with them and let them know what’s happening.

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“I always tell them that heads can get turned by bids but weren’t you happy when you signed your contract at Brentford. Yes, you’re still under contract at Brentford.

“There hasn’t been another bid for James Tarkowski since an initial bid. I think we’re fairly comfortable to say if they don’t meet our valuation I’ll say ‘no’.”

He added: “It’s part and parcel of the job and my phone goes into overdrive at the start of January with agents and people talking about players.

“Everybody, apart from maybe Man City, has got a price. If players are to leave the club then the valuation must be met as we’d need to reinvest the money.

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“We’ve got good players here who are doing well. It has to be a realistic offer for the valuation of the players.”

Sean Dyche, as ever, was keeping his cards close to his chest, but feels the selling clubs hold the cards in January: “Clubs play hardball with everyone, it’s a seller’s market and we don’t want to sell. If you have predators around you, it’s different, the selling club are powerful.

“The ownership has changed, owners are so wealthy, they say ‘no’, end of story. Three or four years ago in the Championship, people had to sell – we did ourselves, Charlie Austin two days before the start of the season, great fun as a manager.

“But we had to to safeguard the club. That now doesn’t seem to be happening, people aren’t bothered about debt. It’s a strange situation, FFP, it’s interesting.”

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Burnley have money and are prepared to spend it, but Dyche added: “We’re in a very tough league, we’re not market leaders, which is unusual for a team coming out of the Premier League. You look at the money Hull have got, (Middlesbrough) have got.

“We’ve spent and want to spend more, but there is a ceiling. We can’t just keep going and going.

“We have to, as a club, it has to be managed on and off the pitch and there has to be a balance, but I make it clear, we still want to challenge and give everything to get back in the Premier League, I do as manager obviously or I wouldn’t be here.

“We have to run a business as well, we’ve spent about £10m, we’ll bring in about £15m depending on (Danny) Ingsy’s situation, but we have to balance. Derby, these (Middlesbrough) are going for it, they’re not bothered about what they’re bringing in, they’re looking at what they’re spending, and they’re spending well.”

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