Burnley face fresh competition in their reported transfer interest in Brighton defender Shane Duffy.
The Daily Mail reported that Celtic have joined the race for the 28-year-old, who is also wanted by West Ham and West Brom, with the Scottish champions seemingly stealing a march by beginning discussions with Hoops manager Neil Lennon over a season-long loan deal.
However, the Clarets may be encouraged by the Glasgow club reportedly still being a long way from striking an agreement with Brighton over a loan fee and wages for the Republic of Ireland international, as per Daily Mail.
Duffy, who has played alongside Burnley’s Kevin Long at centre-back for the Irish national team, has clocked up 96 Premier League appearances, the vast majority of which have come with Brighton over the last three years. However, having been a regular in the side under Chris Hughton, the 28-year-old found game-time much more limited under Graham Potter, starting just 12 league games last season.
Also, with Ben White back at the Amex Stadium following his loan spell at Leeds (and the Seagulls issuing a firm hands-off warning to prospective suitors), along with the summer signing of Joel Veltman, the Irishman risks slipping further down the pecking order in Sussex.
In contrast to Brighton’s abundance of centre-backs, it is a position in which Burnley are not hugely stocked. James Tarkowski and captain Ben Mee are firm favourites of Sean Dyche, while Long acquitted himself well when standing in for the injured skipper towards the end of the season.
After that, Ben Gibson has been linked with Middlesbrough and Norwich recently, and he has been continuously overlooked by Dyche in any case, while Jimmy Dunne and Bobby Thomas are both still awaiting their senior Clarets debuts.
Duffy might not win as many headers or tackles as the likes of Mee or Tarkowski, but his passing success rate of 80.7% is far above the Burnley centre-back duo with 71.4% and 70.8% respectively. Therefore, the Irishman could offer Dyche a more ball-playing mindset at the back to complement his current defenders’ aerial strengths.
Would you like to have Shane Duffy at Burnley?
The Brighton man is no slouch in the air, either, popping up with six goals over the last two seasons, while he knows the Premier League well and may be open to a move with the Seagulls having a newly-reinforced central defensive pick.
He ticks several boxes for Burnley but the Clarets may need to move quickly if they want him, particularly with Champions League participants Celtic seemingly in pole position.
Burnley fans, would Duffy provide stiff competition for Mee and Tarkowski at Turf Moor? Share your views in the comments section below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience