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Burnley close to Shackell deal
BURNLEY are closing in on a deal to sign Derby County defender Jason Shackell after snapping up winger George Porter from Leyton Orient.
The Clarets made their second signing of the summer as they agreed a three-year contract with 20-year-old Porter, whose deal with Orient expired last week.
Burnley will still be required to pay a fee under the terms of the Bosman ruling because Porter is under the age of 24, and they are currently in negotiations with the League One club – although the price will be determined by the Football League if a price cannot be agreed.
And the Clarets are also now looking hot favourites to complete the signing of Shackell after tabling a new offer, thought to be at least £1.1m, for the 28-year-old.
Sources yesterday insisted that Derby had not yet accepted the offer and were still considering the bid from Burnley.
But the fact they have not already rejected the bid, as they did with four previous offers – two of which came from Burnley – suggests that they are now expected to imminently give the go-ahead for a deal.
That would allow the Clarets to finalise a move providing they can fend off any late interest from rival clubs. Cardiff and Charlton were the other clubs reported to have had bids turned down last month and both could still match Burnley’s offer.
Burnley boss Eddie Howe has been keen to add experience to his defence but his hopes of luring Shackell looked in severe doubt a fortnight ago when the Rams indicated that they may opt to keep their captain.
With Burnley remaining interested, though, it became clear in recent days that Derby boss Nigel Clough was swaying back towards allowing the player to leave in order to raise funds to strengthen his squad elsewhere.
Burnley will hope to finalise a deal in time for Shackell to link up with the Clarets squad when they return for pre-season on Friday, having signed Porter to add to previous summer purchase Luke O’Neill.
The pacy right winger has impressed with Leyton Orient since signing from non-league Cray Wanderers two years ago, making 38 appearances last season following previous loan spells at Lewes and Hastings – although 26 of those games were as a substitute.
Porter opted to let his contract run down at Brisbane Road in an attempt to seal a deal elsewhere, with Ipswich and Nottingham Forest among those linked, and Burnley decided to make their move for a player that Howe believes has a bright future.
“We believe George is an exciting young player with the potential to develop further with us,” said the Clarets boss, with the deal finalised subject to relevant paperwork.
“He will increase competition in the wide areas in our squad but is also one for the future.”
Joe McKee, 19, is to link up with Owen Coyle again at Bolton following the end of his deal at Turf Moor.
But Northern Ireland under 17 international keeper Conor Mitchell has joined the Clarets.