BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche has not ruled out a new deal for Michael Duff, after the long-serving defender played a key part in securing a second promotion to the Premier League.
Duff, who is out of contract this summer, will turn 37 in January next year, making him one of the most senior figures in the Premier League should his Turf Moor career stretch into an 11th season.
Duff has made 40 league appearances alongside ever-present Jason Shackell and is one of a number of existing players Dyche intends to speak once today’s game at Reading has brought the curtain down on the season.
The Clarets boss is keen to finalise the futures of his current squad before he adds to it in preparation for a tilt at the top flight next term.
Dyche was reluctant to give anything away for what he had in mind for Duff, but said: “He’s done fantastic this year, among many. Duffo has been a good part of the squad and the club. We’ll see.
“We’ll be talking to Duffo and all the players.
“We have got some contracts up, we’ll be speaking to them over the next couple of weeks.
“We want to do our internal business as quickly as possible because that’s an easier thing to affect.
“We’ll be doing that over the next couple of weeks, having different conversations with different people.
“There are a lot of markers laid down by the main group of players so I’m pretty sure they will be considering the fact they will be involved moving forward, and a big part of what goes on moving forward, but there are no guarantees.
“They know what I’m like and they know I’ll be looking for players who can affect the group. Not at any cost, but certainly at cost if and when needed.
“They know I’ll be pushing and whoever comes into the building for even better results and to perform at an even higher level because that’s what it’s going to take – we’ve moved up a division, it’s as simple as that.”
When it comes to recruiting, Dyche admitted he will be looking at character as well as quality this summer.
But he admitted when it comes to making his promotion-winning squad competitive in the Premier League, quality would be the over-riding factor.
“We all want our background on players because if you are investing money, no matter how much money, you want it to work. You want it to be right,” Dyche added.
“I believe in working with people, not just players, so it’s fair to say that I’d like them to be the right types but you can’t guarantee that.
“You would take a maverick. You want someone who’s loose and free and can play and can change the look of the team, but you don’t want someone who undermines and will undermine the fabric of what you do.
“They’re the most awkward signings to make. They’re sometimes right in the balance because some of the most talented have that nature where they’re up and down and they’re sitting right on the line.
“You need a mixture of them, you need mixture of real solid players, you need a mixture of great mentality, energy, physicality – all of those things. That’s what makes a team and makes a squad.”