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Clarets set to go back in for Shackell
BURNLEY’S hopes of signing Jason Shackell could yet be revived with Derby swaying back towards allowing the centre back to leave Pride Park.
Shackell has been one of the Clarets’ top summer targets with Eddie Howe keen to strengthen his defence for the new season.
But any hope of luring the 28-year-old to Turf Moor seemed to be in severe doubt a fortnight ago when Derby chief executive Tom Glick called Shackell ‘an essential player’ to the Rams’ own Championship aspirations, indicating that they may opt to keep their captain.
Four bids were rejected for Shackell last month, two of which were believed to have come from Burnley – the highest of which was worth in excess of £1m. Cardiff are also thought to have made an offer.
But Derby’s stance on the issue is said to be softening, with boss Nigel Clough tempted to raise funds to strengthen his squad elsewhere as the start of pre-season nears – even though fellow defender and regular skipper Shaun Barker faces a lengthy period on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
The Clarets would still face competition for Shackell’s signature, with Cardiff and one more club thought to remain in the running, but would welcome the fact that Derby may now be prepared to talk business.
The East Midlands club, however, will still look for what they believe to be the right price for the defender, who has previously featured in the Championship with Barnsley, Doncaster, Wolves and Norwich.
Howe had attempted to sign Shackell last summer but was thwarted on that occasion when Derby won the bidding for the then Barnsley captain for a fee of just over £1m.
Another man that the Clarets failed to sign last summer was former loanee Jack Cork, who was yesterday named in the Great Britain squad for the Olympic Games.
Cork joined Southampton a year ago, following 18 months on loan at Turf Moor from Chelsea, and went on to help them to promotion to the Premier League.
Burnley operated with a small squad last season and Howe expects a similar situation during the 2012/13 campaign, indicating that a number of young players could get their opportunity to be part of the matchday squad.
A change of Football League rules mean the Clarets will again be able to name seven substitutes next season.
Howe said: “I think we are going to have to be clever with the players we let go out on loan and if there is a need to bring players in to supplement the bench, or at times to supplement the team, we will pick from our development squad, because we would like to see some of those players develop.
“It’s probably the first time where we have a group there that is really strong and I think they all have a chance to develop into first-team players.
“Not all of them will, that’s the nature of football and a lot of it will be down to individual attitudes.
“But I would like to think there will be a good pool to pick from.”
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