CHARLIE Austin has not ruled out staying with Burnley for the remainder of his contract, but said he would find it hard to turn down Premier League football if an offer was made this summer.
Speculation about the 23-year-old’s future has intensified as his career-best campaign has gone on, with a number of top flight and top end Championship teams keeping tabs on the marksman, as well as Scottish Premier League champions Celtic.
Austin scooped all the big prizes at the Clarets’ official player of the year night after ending the season as the runaway top scorer with 28 goals.
And the former Swindon Town hotshot insisted he was not seeking a move away from Turf Moor, and was planning to return for pre-season training in late June.
Austin said: “If I hadn’t got injured in January people were saying ‘you’d have been sold’ but I wouldn’t have been sold because I was a Burnley player and I had no intention of leaving.
“I’ve still got a year’s contract and on June 25 I’ll be back here.
“No matter what the rumours are I’ve got no intention of going anywhere else unless the club say so.”
Austin admitted, however, the opportunity to follow former Clarets strike partner Jay Rodriguez and make the step up to the Premier League would be a tempting proposition.
“I think every boy growing up wants to be a professional footballer. When that chance comes, every footballer wants to play in the Premier League,” he said.
“Every footballer wants that chance. If I get the chance, so be it.
“If it comes this summer I’ll take it, and I’ll leave Burnley Football Club with my head held high.
“But (if not), on June 25, I’ll be back here for the first day of pre season!”
First team opportunities would also be a big factor in any decision Austin might have to make.
He added: “I was a builder, I know what goes on. As a kid I wanted to be a footballer. I don’t want to do anything else but play football.
“I can’t sit on a bench somewhere or sit in the stands and watch someone else play.”