New sporting director Frank McParland has been tasked with finding a replacement for departing striker Danny Ings.
The England Under 21 international, who scored 11 goals for the Clarets in his first season in the Premier League, will complete his move to Liverpool when his contract at Turf Moor expires at the end of the month.
The 22-year-old, whose move to Anfield is now subject to a medical after personal terms were agreed, will join a pool of strikers that includes Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Divock Origi, who is expected to return from his loan spell at Ligue 1 side Lille.
“Obviously I’m going to be working closely with the gaffer,” said McParland. “We’ll be looking at targets, he already has targets and what type of player he wants.
“I’ll be working with him to try and bring in what we can. It’s all the gaffer’s philosophy but I’ll be working very closely with him and making sure that we’re aligned on everything we do.
“The manager is massive in the recruitment of players, it has to be a player he wants to sign, if we put a player to him and he doesn’t fancy the player, then he doesn’t come, it’s as simple as that.
The manager is massive in the recruitment of players, it has to be a player he wants to signFrank McParland
“But we’re there to help and to guide. I’ve got a very good relationship with the gaffer and it’s going to work well.”
McParland, who previously worked as chief scout at Liverpool between 2003 and 2007, before returning to Merseyside in 2009 as the Director of Academy and Player Development, added: “The summer is massive for every club. We’ve just come out of the Premier League, our aim is to get back into the Premier League as soon as possible.
“There’s certainly money there but we have to recruit well and I’ll be working very hard with the boss, Dave Baldwin the CEO, and everyone at the club to try to get some decent ones in.
“I’m here to try to help the manager as much as possible to bring decent players in to help us get up. There will be players coming in during the summer.”
McParland’s CV is extensive. The 56-year-old, who has also held roles at Watford, Bolton Wanderers and Brentford, has been credited with the captures of Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Raheem Sterling during his tenure with the Reds.
And this isn’t the first time he’s been challenged with replacing a club’s leading scorer. In his role as director of football at Griffin Park, where he worked alongside former Bees boss Mark Warburton last term, he replaced Clayton Donaldson with Andre Gray, a £600,000 signing from Luton Town.
McParland – who also identified Spurs winger Alex Pritchard and he was placed in the Championship’s team of the year while on loan at Brentford – acknowledges that finding another Gray for such a minimal price is an arduous, time-consuming assignment. But he’s willing to do some digging.
“It depends what club you’re at,” he said. “With the limited budget that I had I had to look around.
“Andre Gray, who we signed for £600,000, was unbelievable. There’s not many players like that now that you take a chance on for £300,000/£400,000 and they’re going to come through at a massive club like Burnley, play in the first team and score 20 goals.
“If they are out there, and we’ve done our work on them, then we can do it for sure. I think we’ll have to spend a little bit more than that on a striker though.”
He added: “With Andre we did a lot of work at Brentford on the stats and probably watched him live in seven, eight or nine games. We did a lot of background checks and followed him for about two or three months every game and every week before making a decision on him.
“That one really worked out well. What a great kid with a good attitude. I like people who want to play football and work really hard. I like similar players to what the manager likes.
“We’re not going to bring people in who toss it off. We want players who are totally behind what we want to do.”