No news is good news as regards Burnley's crown jewel Dwight McNeil

Burnley are yet to receive an approach or offer for crown jewel Dwight McNeil.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 8:00 am
Dwight McNeil

Aston Villa have identified the 21-year-old as an option, although they have already landed their main target, Norwich City’s Argentina playmaker Emiliano Buendia, for as club record £33m rising to £40, as they look to push for European qualification.

But while reports have suggested they were ‘preparing’ a £15m offer – less than half what would likely give Burnley a decision to make – Villa are yet to make their move for the England Under 21 winger, who scored twice and provided five assists last season.

However, Villa had a £25m offer for Arsenal’s 20-year-old forward Emile Smith Rowe turned down on Wednesday, and it remains to be seen whether they up their offer, or look down their list.

The Rochdale-born youngster was linked with a string of clubs last summer, including Manchester City, former club Manchester United, Leicester City, Wolves and Serie A giants Juventus, but no news means good news for the Clarets, who would like nothing more than to retain his services, with McNeil contracted until the summer of 2024 - with the option of a further year.

McNeil has been identified as Burnley’s biggest asset – with the CIES Football Observatory’s algorithm valuing the player at between €50-70m, or £43-60m, representing 35.3% of the club’s entire estimated transfer value.

The player himself is happy to stay at Turf Moor, only signing a new deal in October, as he said in April: “We came to the conclusion that the best decision, the right decision, was to sign another contract and have that reassurance of being part of a team and having that establishment within the team.”

Asked if his head was turned by speculation, McNeil shook his head and added: “The gaffer calls it ‘outside noise’ and we didn’t hear anything.

“It was a simple answer for me and the family to sign a new contract with the club.

“I have loved the club ever since I have been here, and I know the manager and the lads so well. I am comfortable, I’ve played a lot of football, and I’ve enjoyed my football the most at Burnley.”

Last summer, father Matty McNeil, who played for Macclesfield Town and Stockport in the Football League, said: “It would be best for him to stay put at the moment and go that way instead of him going to a top team and just sitting there and getting drip fed into it.

“I believe, with improvement, he can be good enough for the top teams, but some of the top teams seem to favour foreign players, who Dwight can be as good as.”

While Villa moved quickly to beat Arsenal to land Buendia, the general feel is that a lot of Premier League business is expected to happen later in the window, with a busy end of July and August probable, given that Euro 2020 runs until July 11th, with the Copa America final the same day.