SEAN Dyche has praised Michael Keane’s mindset during a campaign in which he was regularly linked with a move away from Turf Moor.

Keane is still expected to depart the Clarets this summer, with Everton the front-runners, but Dyche was pleased with the way the 24-year-old handled himself during the season.

Speculation over Keane’s future began 12 months ago when then Premier League champions Leicester City failed with a £15million bid.

Keane stayed put at Turf Moor but rejected a new four-year deal from Burnley and now has just 12 months remaining on his current contract.

He was a standout performer last season, being nominated for the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award and winning his first two England caps, and Dyche was delighted with his attitude.

And the Clarets chief believes the form of Keane and the stature of clubs he has been linked with have made a mockery of critics who questioned his decision to sign the former Manchester United youngster on a permanent deal in January 2015.

“He’s had good focus to himself and to us,” Dyche said. “He’s worked on his own game with us and himself and taken that into the team and what the team needs.

“We were questioned when we brought him for £2million. Everyone says it’s a masterstroke now.”

Keane has been linked with a £25million move to almost all of the Premier League’s top seven sides this season as his stock has continued to rise at Turf Moor.

Towards the end of the campaign he was regularly linked with a return to Manchester United, but the Red Devils have splashed out more than £30million on Benfica centre back Victor Lindelof, which makes an Old Trafford reunion unlikely for Keane.

That will leave Goodison Park as the England international’s most likely destination, and the Toffees have splashed the cash this week, with more than £50million spent on Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Ajax midfielder Davy Klaasen.

Dyche believes transfer speculation is something the modern footballer has to live with, which helps them deal with it and can sometimes act as a source of inspiration for the player.

“The modern footballer has a lot of that, so they can deal with it much better. Now it’s rife, it comes from a million sources, so they get used to it,” the Turf boss added.

“Sometimes you can use it as a bit of fuel, you feel a bit low and it can give them a lift. Different things give you a kick and a bit of a lift.

“People are affected differently, players have that much going on now.”