Reports emerging from East Sussex are suggesting that Burnley boss Sean Dyche is ready to test Brighton’s resolve with a £750,000 bid for Ashley Barnes.
The Clarets made three offers for the Seagulls’ striker towards the end of the summer window, the last one at £500,000, but were rebuffed.
The 24-year-old’s future at the Amex Stadium remains uncertain with his contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign. Barnes has featured regularly in Oscar Garcia’s starting XI though he’s started two of the last three Championship fixtures on the bench following Leonardo Ulloa’s return from a foot injury.
Dyche, yet to spend a penny on transfer fees since arriving at Turf Moor over 12 months ago, has been eager to bring in attacking options since the sale of Charlie Austin to QPR on the eve of the season.
Burnley have completed the first half of the campaign with only two senior strikers, Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, who have netted 29 goals between them, but have started every league game bar one, with Ings sitting out the goal-less draw with Watford last month.
“We’ll need support for the group but how much we can get is a decision for the board,” said Dyche. “We do want to continue being up there challenging. That can be tough when you’re working with such small numbers - as high quality numbers as they are. I’ve got belief in the group and they’ve got belief in each other. It’s still handy when you’ve got bodies around though.
“It’s been an ongoing process for a long, long time now. Everyone knows that we need support for the squad but they also know our financial structure. I prefer not to talk about business until business is done. The threat to the squad is injuries, suspensions but the feel of the squad is good.
“In terms of numbers we’d like more but not too many. Everyone knows their job and responsibility within the squad. I don’t want to change too many bodies but we do need support and in the front department. It’s not rocket science. We’re active and we’re attempting to bring players to the club.”