Burnley boss eyes summer targets

TARGET?: Burnley are believed to be monitoring Brentford centre back Harlee Dean
TARGET?: Burnley are believed to be monitoring Brentford centre back Harlee Dean
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CLARETS boss Sean Dyche has identified a number of summer transfer targets.

But he admits a number of factors will dictate which he can pursue more vigorously.

Burnley are believed to be monitoring the progress of Brentford’s 21-year-old centre back Harlee Dean, among others, as Dyche looks to revamp the squad.

Burnley still have to secure their Championship status first - with an important game at home to Bristol City tomorrow, but Dyche is already formulating plans for the future: “There will naturally be changes, and we’re in the process of alligning what we can do with the finances available.

“We have to work within the market and see how the dust settles with players out of contract and players at other clubs. But we’ve got feelers out.

“It’s a transitional period, but we’re governed by what happens over the summer in terms of season ticket sales and the business side of things.

“We have a rough idea of the budget, but with the nature of business, that can fluctuate.

“Players could be available at more or less than you thought due to market circumstances, and we have to allign the right players at the right cost - ones that we think can improve us.

“It’s a challenge, but we can’t throw money about.”

Dyche has previously spoken about a desire to bring in more leaders, and he added: “It’s fair to say we have quite a young squad, but we are looking for that blend of experience meets youth, and that middle area - a handful who know the Championship.

“That would be a healthy mix.

“But the hardest thing for managers is that everyone now wants leaders - the stand up players who give you that performance level week in, week out, and that’s a change in football.”

Dyche is also in the process of trying to keep some of the players who will be out of contract at Turf Moor in the summer, with Lee Grant, Dean Marney, Michael Duff - who has triggered a new deal after making 25 appearances this season, Martin Paterson, Chris McCann and Brian Jensen coming to the end of their current deals.

Grant intimated he was close to extending his stay last week, and Dyche said: “We’re ongoing with contracts, although there’s a couple we hope to get sorted soon.”

Marney could be available to face Bristol City tomorrow, but Duff and Ben Mee are expected to miss out.

Marney has missed the last six games with a calf strain, while Duff was forced out of the 3-3 draw at Watford on Good Friday with a calf injury, and Mee came off on Easter Monday against Nottingham Forest with a knee problem: “Ben has twisted his knee and we’re waiting for the scan to see the full extent. But the Bristol City game will probably come too quick for him.

“Duffo is making progress, but we’re not sure he will make this weekend.

“Deano has had a couple more training sessions and hopefully he will come back into the fold.”

Burnley go into the game in 13th place, three points behind 10th but only four clear of 22nd.

They go in search of a first home win on seven games against bottom side Bristol City tomorrow, and, with six games remaining, Dyche accepts: “You have to be reality bound.

“We’ve still got a job to do so we’ve got to go and win games.

“It’s not about breathing space, it’s about winning.

“The concept I’ve made clear, playing to win, doesn’t change, regardless of our situation. It’s as simple as that.

“I’ve done my talking about referees, but we could have two or three more wins of late but for unforeseen circumstances, out of our hands.

“It’s not something I want to talk about, but the fans have seen it for themselves.

“But we’ll go into this game no different, playing to win - I treated every game the same as a player, whether it was a friendly, a league or a cup game. We’re two points behind where we were at this time last year and we want to improve.”

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