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Mills can be a boon for Clarets
BURNLEY are understood to be close to making Reading left back Joseph Mills their fourth summer signing.
The 22-year-old was part of the Royals’ promotion winning squad last season, but has fallen down the pecking order behind Ian Harte and the return of Nicky Shorey on a one-year deal following promotion to the Premier League.
But Clarets boss Eddie Howe is thought to be ready to pluck attacking full back Mills from the Royals’ wilderness, in the hope of completing a deal before Saturday’s first friendly at Altrincham.
Should the move go ahead, it could set up a sibling showdown on the opening day of the season, with the defender’s brother, Matt, preparing for the Championship season with relegated Bolton Wanderers.
It would also provide much-needed competition in a specialist defensive role.
At the moment Daniel Lafferty is Burnley’s only recognised senior left back, although Ben Mee played most of his 35 games in that role last season.
Mills, who joined Reading from Southampton last summer, is not expected to command a large fee, despite signing an improved contract in January after the Royals’ took over the youngster’s St Mary’s contract.
Should he join Burnley, he would add to the defensive reinforcements Howe has made with the capture of experienced centre half Jason Shackell from Derby County and young right back Luke O’Neill.
Winger George Porter, who arrived from Leyton Orient earlier this month, completes the list of summer signings so far.
Burnley are hoping to avoid further exits following the £7million sale of Jay Rodriguez to Southampton, and are encouraged that Norwich City’s interest in Chris McCann appears to have cooled.
The Clarets were bracing themselves for a bid from Premier League club but it has not yet materialised.
Meanwhile, contrary to rumours, Preston striker Iain Hume is not training with Burnley.
The 28-year-old is one of eight North End players who have been told to stay away from the club by manager Graham Westley, who is keen for them to find new clubs this summer.
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