Burnley have rejected a £28m bid from West Ham for James Tarkowski and are holding out for more than £30m for the defender.
That is according to a report from Football Insider, which also claimed that the Hammers are planning an improved offer and the promise of a significant pay increase for the 27-year-old.
The report also claimed that the twice-capped England international is keen to leave Turf Moor in order to force his way back into the national team squad, having been omitted from Gareth Southgate’s selection for this month’s UEFA Nations League matches.
Tarkowski played every minute of Burnley’s Premier League campaign last season, illustrating his importance to Sean Dyche’s team, while winning more headers (5.3 per game) than any of his team-mates and receiving the highest WhoScored average match rating among the Clarets’ squad in 2019/20.
With less than two weeks remaining until Burnley begin their Premier League season against Leicester, Dyche may well be reluctant to sell such a trusted and integral player so close to the big kick-off. Indeed, with Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Kevin Long all facing fitness battles of late, the manager picked an inexperienced centre-back pairing of Jimmy Dunne and Bobby Thomas for last week’s friendly against Preston (as per Lancashire Live).
Ironically, Tarkowski got his break at Burnley because of the club’s decision to sell a centre-back stalwart for a lucrative fee – the Clarets reaped £25.65m (as per TransferMarkt) from the sale of Michael Keane to Everton three years ago, with Burnley’s current centre-back starting just four league games in the season prior to that transfer.
It seems that Dyche has been presented with an unenviable Catch-22 situation. By selling Tarkowski, he would be deprived of a core presence in Burnley’s defence and have very little time to find a replacement of the same quality before the new season starts and the transfer window closes.
Will Burnley be able to keep hold of James Tarkowski?
By keeping him, he risks losing out on a potentially lucrative windfall for the Clarets and keeping hold of a player who, if reports of him wanting to leave are accurate, could become disenchanted at Turf Moor and struggle to replicate the standards that he has set up to now.
Burnley fans, would you take the money for Tarkowski or is he simply too important to sell? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience