BURNLEY have staved off January interest in Jay Rodriguez from Newcastle United, but there are fears they will lose the striker in the summer.
The Magpies have made tentative enquiries about the 22-year-old, who is blazing a goal trail for the Clarets this season.
Rodriguez, who is top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions, was one of the reasons for Alan Pardew attending their game at Middlesbrough less than a fortnight ago. And the Newcastle boss would have liked what he saw as the 22-year-old scored the first goal in a 2-0 win at the Riverside.
Burnley, however, have told them they want to hang on to their homegrown striker - certainly at least for the rest of this season - and with Pardew’s focus on bringing in a centre half before the transfer window closes on Tuesday, it is believed he is prepared to wait until the end of the campaign before making a move for Rodriguez, unless they face competition for his signature.
Newcastle’s patience will come as a welcome boost to Eddie Howe, as the Burnley boss wants to keep the bulk of his squad together and enhance their efforts to mount a top six push.
But the interest will come as no surprise to the Turf Moor chief, after the Clarets turned down an offer of at least £5million from Southampton last summer.
Rodriguez had been tied up to a new two-year deal the previous March, soon after Howe’s arrival, and he expects attempts will be made to secure another new deal for the forward.
“All the lads that are coming out of contract in the next 18months we have to make sure, as a club, we are on the ball,” said the Clarets boss.
“We will look to move on them.”
Burnley are, however, ready to loan out Kevin Long for a second time this season, and the young defender is set for a fourth spell under John Coleman, who left Accrington Stanley to take charge of Rochdale on Monday.
It is likely the Irishman, who spent the best part of last season and the first half of this at the Crown Ground, will sign a one-month loan deal at Spotland at the end of the week, ahead of their home game with Bury.
Long could also be joined by versatile forward Alex MacDonald, who has been scouted by Coleman, after Howe admitted he would be open to a loan move for the 22-year-old.
“Alex has done very well for us, he has a great attitude so the next stage of his career would be to go out and play games,” said Howe.
“We would have to make sure we don’t leave the squad light on numbers, but we want all our young players who need games to go out and play football.
“Hopefully he would rise to the challenge.”