Burnley reported back for pre-season training at Gawthorpe yesterday [Monday] to mark the dawn of a new era under new boss Vincent Kompany.
Strikers Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Barnes returned alongside midfielder Jack Cork after the trio signed new deals to extend their time with the Clarets.
Notable absentees from the group included popular centre back pairing James Tarkowski and ex-skipper Ben Mee, who both revealed that their time at the club had come to an end as they seek opportunities elsewhere.
The club’s internationals — including Wout Weghorst, in-demand defender Nathan Collins, goalkeeper Nick Pope and Welsh duo Connor Roberts and Wayne Hennessey — were also afforded extra time to recover from their UEFA Nations League exertions during the early part of the summer.
But a depleted gathering — with Erik Pieters, Phil Bardsley, Dale Stephens and Aaron Lennon also allowed to leave at the end of their contracts — were back for testing and training.
Kompany will now be tasked with trying to keep his stars in place as the vultures start to circle following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League as well as bringing new faces into the squad.
With the Championship season due to get going on the weekend of July 30th, here are the names reportedly on the former Belgium international’s radar ahead of the 2022-23 season.
1. Taylor Harwood-Bellis
The Manchester City starlet is already armed with Championship experience after spells on loan with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City. The 20-year-old played under Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht at the start of last season, featured 16 times for the Belgian First Division A outfit. He made his professional debut for City in an EFL Cup tie against Preston North End in 2019 and went on to appear in the Champions League group stages as City beat Dinamo Zagreb 4-1. The defender scored his first goal for City two years ago against Port Vale in the FA Cup.
Photo: Mike Hewitt
2. Mandela Lamine Keita
OH Leuven CEO Peter Willems stressed that it would take an "insane offer" to let the defensive midfielder leave the club this summer. The Belgium Under 21 international made 28 appearances in all competitions during his breakthrough season and has reportedly attracted interest from relegated Serie A side Genoa and Burnley's Championship rivals Sheffield United.
Photo: JOHN THYS
3. Luke McNally
According to reports, the Clarets have already had a few bids rebuffed by Oxford United for the talented 22-year-old defender. The Irishman, who made the move to the Kassam Stadium from St Patrick’s Athletic last January, has two years left to run on his contract with United. The centre back's valuation is upwards of £1.5m. He made 30 appearances in League One last term, scoring four times and contributing to six clean sheets.
Photo: Richard Heathcote
4. Joel Latibeaudiere
The 22-year-old Swansea City defender has been the subject of newspaper talk linking him with a move to Turf Moor. Burnley are believed to be ready to table a £500,000 bid for the former Manchester City centre back, who made the switch to the Liberty Stadium in 2020. Latibeaudiere, who has also had a spell on loan with Dutch Eredivisie outfit FC Twente, finished with a clean sheet on his first senior league start against AFC Bournemouth during the 2020-21 campaign and culminated last season with 29 appearances in the Championship.
Photo: Tony Marshall