Burnley have insisted that they will not sell James Tarkowski for anything less than £50m in the summer transfer window.
That is according to a report from the Daily Mail, which also claimed that Leicester are set to reignite their interest in the centre-back after courting him last summer.
The Daily Mail added that the Clarets don’t intend to negotiate the release clause in the 27-year-old’s contract, believing that they would have great difficulty in buying a replacement of the same quality if he were to be sold.
Tarkowski’s importance to the Burnley cause is illustrated by him playing every single minute for the Clarets in the Premier League last season – a feat matched only by goalkeeper Nick Pope – with his performances of such a lofty standard that Sean Dyche hinted that the defender would merit an England call-up (as per Sky Sports).
The 27-year-old had the highest WhoScored average match rating of any Burnley player in the 2019/20 campaign along with winning more headers (5.2) and making more interceptions (1.7), blocks (1.2) and clearances (5.3) per game than any of his team-mates.
The Clarets’ £50m price tag on their defensive talisman comes in an era which has seen other Premier League centre-backs command colossal transfer fees. John Stones cost Manchester City £47.5m from Everton in 2016 while Manchester United paid £80m to Leicester last year to make Harry Maguire the world’s most expensive defender.
Is £50m a fair price for Burnley to demand for James Tarkowski?
In the 2019/20 Premier League, Tarkowski (a £3.6m acquisition from Brentford in 2016) won more headers per game than the Manchester-based duo (Maguire 4.6, Stones 2.8) and also had more successful tackles per game, with Magurie and Stones winning one each on average. The Burnley man also surpassed his England colleagues for clearances (Maguire 4.1, Stones 1.9) and blocks (Maguire 0.6, Stones 0.2) per game.
Based on Tarkowski’s 2019/20 statistics in comparison to the highly-priced Maguire and Stones, it’s not hard to see why Burnley feel that he is worth £50m.
Also, Dyche does not have the greatest of depth at centre-back. Ben Gibson is essentially frozen out while Jimmy Dunne and Bobby Thomas have no senior experience, leaving Ben Mee and Kevin Long as the only viable alternatives to Tarkowski.
He is simply too important to the Turf Moor cause for Burnley to part with him easily, so they are quite right to insist on £50m at a minimum for the 27-year-old. If anything, that price perhaps undervalues him.
Burnley fans, what would you consider a fair price for Tarkowski, or is he simply indispensable to the Clarets? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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