Clarets boss Sean Dyche has revealed that the club had the proverbial rug pulled from underneath their feet during the latest transfer window.
Dyche confessed that deals for two unnamed targets had been agreed in principal ahead of Monday’s 11 p.m. deadline, but their respective clubs pulled the plug on those proposed moves late on.
With deals for Stuart Armstrong, Graham Dorrans, Henri Lansbury and Matt Jarvis falling by the wayside, defender Michael Keane proved to be the only acquisition after making his loan move from Old Trafford permanent in the New Year.
Dyche, who admitted to going abroad himself in a bid to bolster his squad, said: “It’s exactly what I said the challenges would be; defining players who can play in the Premier League, can demand from our group and obviously try and enhance it. We need to acquire the players at the right market level. It’s a very, very tough business.
“We had five main targets, I’ve been abroad myself recently as well and across England. We had two deals done but the clubs those players were coming from pulled the deal, not us.
“Money couldn’t fix those two deals so that was it. I don’t talk about other players. I only mentioned Stuart Armstrong because their chairman came out and shared it nationally.”
Dyche added: “They’re never over the line until all the paperwork is signed but they were agreed in principal, agreeable to the clubs, and then they were taken away. When players are under contract every club has the right to do that.
“It’s one of those things, they were agreed in principle, their personal situations were agreed as well, but it was their clubs not us that took the deals away for their own reasons.
“They didn’t pull them back for financial reasons, they pulled them back because I presume the targets they were after didn’t happen. It’s been a quiet window and sometimes it takes activity from one end to start the activity from the other. If that doesn’t come through then clubs may choose to pull their player which is what happened in our case.
“The market has always been tough. We are what we are; we’ve gone up a level and the numbers are incredibly large for a club that hadn’t been spending anything. It’s difficult for the board and the club to adjust to that.
“We’ve got a solid board of people who are wealthy and very accomplished businessmen but they haven’t got the same wealth as some of the clubs out there with foreign owners who are throwing hundreds and hundreds of millions in to that club.”