Burnley boss Sean Dyche remained coy on the situation surrounding Sam Vokes after being questioned on the striker’s future at Turf Moor.
The 47-year-old, who succeeded Eddie Howe just after the Welsh international’s switch from Wolves in the summer of 2012, was tight-lipped when pressed on speculation linking Vokes with a move to Championship side Stoke City.
The 29-year-old, who has made more than 250 appearances for the Clarets, scoring 62 times, only signed a new three-year contract in October but it is understood that new Potters boss Nathan Jones would like to land the forward before the deadline.
Vokes was left out of Burnley’s defeat against Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup despite Dyche ringing the changes at the Etihad.
And New Zealand international Chris Wood was the preferred option when Matej Vydra made way just after the hour.
With a £9m tag for the striker reported, Dyche said: “It is no surprise that we have got people looking at our players. We have always had teams interested in our players, if there is any fact in that it will show in due course, if there is not it wont.
“As I have always said there is a balance of good and respectful in that you must be doing something right because that is why people are interested in your players and not so good because some times it sets tongues wagging needlessly. That is just the way it goes.
“Who knows? We’re a business. It’s not just a football club, it’s a business. I think both have to be in balance but we’ve had varying times before where people are interested in our players.
“That doesn’t surprise me, that’s just the way it is. We look outside, they look at us and that’s just the market.”
Vokes would only be allowed to move on should a replacement be found, and the club are keen on Birmingham City’s leading scorer Che Adams – but face competition from Southanpton.
Dyche was reluctant to be drawn on speculation, with Burnley also linked with out of favour Everton winger Yannick Bolasie.
Dyche said: “It’s irrelevant. Everyone talks about it as if it’s like ‘just go and do something’ but it’s irrelevant.
“It’s not that easy because they still need to be players that fit your model, fit it financially, fit it with the fees, the wages, what slots are available, can they grow in to the team, can they affect it now.
“They have to fit in with an age bracket so that they can perform now but also have a sale-ability in the future. The model here is tough to work from. It warrants a bit of everything so if you try to add that in to a month it isn’t going to happen. It’s very difficult. Who are you going to sign?
“You’d do well to name 10 that fit in to all those things. It’s very difficult.
“Not just for us. Every club will have a different version to ours but ours might be a little bit tighter on the margins.
“I don’t ‘expect’ anything. There’s a chance but I don’t expect it. We’ve got close to so many things down the years so I only expect anything to happen once the paperwork is signed.”