When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Clarets boss Howe faces a Shack scrap
BURNLEY could have summer target Jason Shackell snatched away from them with Cardiff City set to make a rival bid.
The Clarets were believed to be closing in on the defender, despite having at least one offer worth in excess of £1million turned down by Derby County.
Manager Eddie Howe was hopeful of finally landing the ex-Norwich centre half, 12 months after missing out on him to the Rams.
But Championship rivals Cardiff are now poised to move, and may succeed in tempting the 28-year-old to South Wales unless Burnley can come up with an improved offer.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay could hold all the aces in the Shackell deal, however, after being given increased spending power this summer from owner Vincent Tan, to deliver promotion in 2012-13.
The Malaysian billionaire is ready to invest heavily into the club after changing their home kit from blue to red and their badge from the familiar bluebird to a Welsh dragon.
Earlier this summer Cardiff made Burnley a £5million offer for Jay Rodriguez before he joined Southampton for a club record £7m fee.
But the Clarets are being linked with a move for Manchester United left-back Zeki Fryers, who is out of contract at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the Clarets will pull out of the Central Reserve League ahead of the new season.
After finishing runners-up in the Central League West Division to Preston, who have also withdrawn, manager Eddie Howe believes the club’s emerging, young talent will be better served by arranging their own match programme.
“At the end of the day the decision has been made in view of aiding the development of our young players, for a whole host of reasons,” said Howe.
“We feel the reserves league, in its current format, just wasn’t testing enough for the players.
“Young players need to be pushed to aid their development and the structure and opposition, with respect, doesn’t do that.
“There are not really enough regular games and those we can now arrange, either at training grounds or on first-team pitches, suits us much better.”
Burnley’s fixture list in the Central League last season included games against Wrexham and Macclesfield Town – now both non-league teams.
Howe plans to arrange games against clubs from higher divisions.
The Burnley boss also aims to loan out the club’s young professionals to give them a taste of first-team football, rather than continue their education in a reserve league.
“We can now arrange opposition and kick-off times against the Premier League and Football League reserve teams to suit our own needs, rather than having set times,” he said.
“In terms of our own players coming from the youth team, the main aim will be to get them out on loan and get them playing as often as possible at various levels.
“The likes of Jay Rodriguez, and more recently Alex MacDonald, flourished when they were playing football at a higher level and that can only be good for their development and for Burnley Football Club.”