Burnley again linked with West Brom man

Craig Dawson
Craig Dawson

Burnley have again been linked with West Brom centre back Craig Dawson.

But suggestions a £15m move could be imminent are jumping the gun, with no offer made, or contract readied.

The 29-year-old former England Under 21 defender has long been a target for Sean Dyche, who has failed with numerous offers, starting in the summer of 2014 after guiding Burnley to promotion to the Premier League for the first time.

The club tried to land both Dawson and Baggies teammate Jay Rodriguez in a joint-£25m deal last summer, which was knocked back.

And Dawson’s efforts to force through a return to the top flight after West Brom’s relegation - amid further interest from West Ham and Watford - also saw his his transfer request turned down, as it was four years earlier, after receiving a fine for refusing to go on a pre-season training camp to Portugal.

West Brom reportedly wanted £20m for the former Rochdale man last summer, but he only has a year left on his contract now, after staying at The Hawthorns to try and bounce back immediately to the Premier League, only to fall short in the play-offs.

A number of Baggies players are expected to move on in the transfer window, as technical director Luke Dowling told Matt Wilson of the Express and Star: “We had a really competitive wage bill this year for the Championship.

“Financially we gave it our best shot this season.

"Next season it will be slightly different. We'll take the right risks in player recruitment that will benefit the club.

“If it means two, three, four, or five players move on, then they move on. We have to back ourselves to replace them.

"We had a group of players who we believe can play in the Premier League. When I joined in September, they as a group were willing to give it this one season.

"A lot of them, with the age that they're at, will be thinking 'if I don't go to the Premier League now then I could spend the rest of my career in the Championship'.

"We were a penalty away from getting to Wembley but we have fallen short.

"I'm not going to sit here and say we'll be kicking off next season with the same squad – we won't be.

"There will be changes but they will be changes made for the right reasons for this football club."

The speculation hints at a player and agent looking to get a move, knowing that Dyche is a long-time admirer, and Burnley already have the oldest squad, in terms of average age, in the Premier League, without a 29-year-old centre back.

And Burnley are well-stocked in that department, boasting James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Ben Gibson - who arrived for £15m last summer - and Kevin Long, while the club are in, as Dyche has said, a “super-strong” position in terms of holding onto their key players.