According to Lancashire Live, Everton and Crystal Palace are also interested in the 20-year-old, who the Clarets boss feels will move on from Turf Moor to advance his career prospects.
Dyche told Lancashire Live: “There comes a time when eventually players will leave Burnley because we can only go so far and the club only chooses to go so far – whether it be contractually or big fees coming in.”
The 49-year-old added: “He’s a young player who is doing very, very well. I’d be very very surprised if he doesn’t leave Burnley at some point because someone will come along and knock on our door. But that’s the reality of Burnley.”
After breaking into Burnley’s starting XI last season, McNeil has been a near-constant presence in the Clarets’ line-up, with five goals and 11 assists in 60 appearances for the club so far (as per TransferMarkt).
As per WhoScored, he is their leading assists provider in the 2019/20 Premier League with six, while his match average of 2.1 successful dribbles is by far the highest at Turf Moor. He is also Burnley’s market leader in terms of key passes, with 1.5 per game.
The 20-year-old is valued at £16.2m by TransferMarkt, although Dyche has warned prospective suitors that the Clarets are “very strong financially” and would “have to come for heavy prices” if they are to prise McNeil away from his current club (as per Lancashire Live).
This is not the first time that Burnley’s resolve for one of their prize assets has been tested. Five years ago, Danny Ings was sold to Liverpool after he scored 11 goals in the Clarets’ unsuccessful battle against Premier League relegation. In 2017, they sold Andre Gray to Watford in what became a record transfer for the Hornets.
McNeil’s statistics mark him out as a player with enormous potential who is already delivering, and that he is wanted by a Manchester United side chasing Champions League football says plenty about his talent.
Burnley’s team would be weaker without him, although they recovered from the sale of Ings in 2015 to earn immediate promotion back to the Premier League as Gray filled the goal-scoring void. Then, after he made the move to Watford, Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes stepped up.
Will Dwight McNeil still be at Burnley when the transfer window closes?
Losing McNeil would be a blow but, as shown by the likes of Gray in the past, Burnley are capable of finding effective replacements, so it should not be catastrophic if the 20-year-old is sold at a lucrative fee once the money is wisely invested elsewhere.
Burnley fans, how hard would it be to replace McNeil if he is sold? Comment below with your views!
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