Genk determined to hold onto Clarets target Maehle

Joakim Maehle
Joakim Maehle

Genk are determined to hold onto Burnley target Joakim Mæhle.

And the Clarets have also lost out to Serie A club Atalanta for the services of Genk’s Ukranian attacking midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi.

The club were linked with the pair in the national media, and while there is an interest in Denmark Under 21 international Mæhle, Atalanta stole in ahead of Burnley, Sampdoria and Borussia Dortmund to land Malinovskyi - who has 22 senior caps - for €13.7m.

Genk were prepared to sell after bringing in a replacement in Ianis Hagi - son of Romania great Gheorghe - from Fiorentina.

Burnley have identified Maehle, 22, as a potential upgrade on Matt Lowton and Phil Bardsley, but Genk are determined to hold onto a player they signed from Danish club AaB two years ago for at least another season, with the club qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stages.

Rated by many as the best right back in the Belgian Pro League, Maehle is thought to be valued at as much as £20m, with Genk fending off a 10m € offer from Southampton in January.

Maehle was one of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s top targets in the transfer window, and Mæhle said: “I’m not going to say that I wasn’t interested.

“This was a nice proposal from a big club from a top competition.

“But at the same time, I have full understanding of Genk’s point of view.

“They have also been very clear from the beginning: in this winter market all starters remain on board.

”I can only respect that. Because let me make it clear: I am still very happy here.”