Burnley look set to miss out on one of their summer transfer targets in Angers midfielder Baptiste Santamaria.
Last month, the Daily Mail had reported that the Clarets were in talks with the 25-year-old over a potential move to Turf Moor.
However, as per Le10 Sport, he is now set to sign for Bundesliga side Freiburg in a €15m (£13.6m) deal, having been a notable absentee from Angers training on Wednesday.
Defensive midfielder Santamaria has been a core member of Angers’ line-up over the past two years, starting all but one of their league games across 2018/19 and 2019/20 as well as their first three Ligue 1 matches this term.
He has a reputation for being a no-nonsense midfield anchor, winning more than three tackles per game over the past two seasons and drawing comparisons with Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, whose performances has earned plaudits from the likes of Eden Hazard and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 25-year-old Angers midfielder is more than just a sturdy ball-winner, though; he had a passing success rate of 81.5% in Ligue 1 last term and that has risen to 86.1% in the early weeks of the current campaign. To put that in context, Josh Brownhill was the only Burnley player to surpass 80% last season, with the ex-Bristol City man completing 82.5% of his passes (as per WhoScored).
Furthermore, with Jack Cork remaining sidelined through injury, that leaves Brownhill and Ashley Westwood as Sean Dyche’s only senior central midfield options, with the manager yet to turn to emerging youngster Mace Goodridge in competitive first team action.
Santamaria could well have been the perfect blend of defensive steel and composed ball distribution in Burnley’s midfield had they made greater progress with their reported transfer talks.
It now looks as if he is on his way to the Bundesliga, leaving frustration for Dyche and the Turf Moor faithful that they weren’t able to make what would have been a very welcome addition to their midfield.
Burnley fans, how big a blow is it to miss out on Santamaria? Have your say by commenting below!
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