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UPDATE: Howe set for Burnley exit
BURNLEY were last night playing hardball over a compensation package for wantaway manager Eddie Howe, after refusing Bournemouth permission to speak to the 34-year-old.
The Cherries confirmed their interest in a reunion with their former boss by making an official approach to the Clarets, with Howe understood to be keen on a return to the south coast club.
But Burnley are not prepared to allow Howe to leave for the League One club without a fight.
Chief executive Lee Hoos said in a statement: “Bournemouth have made an unsolicited and unwanted approach for manager Eddie Howe.
“Burnley Football Club would like to stress that no agreement has been reached and Eddie Howe is still Burnley manager.
“No permission has been granted for Bournemouth to speak to Eddie.”
Howe took first team training yesterday while negotiations took place between the two clubs. It is understood that could also bethe case today as a result of last night’s stand-off.
Compensation is believed to be the major sticking point in a deal being struck.
The clubs are thought to be haggling over money that Burnley still owe Bournemouth for Danny Ings. I understand that figure is £500,000, with the Clarets paying the £1million fee for the striker in four annual instalments – the length of his contract.
Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell told sources on the south coast that he felt the clubs were “close” to reaching an agreement with Burnley and was hopeful of a deal being concluded ahead of their League One clash at home to Leyton Orient tomorrow.
But Burnley were last night holding firm, with talks set to enter a fourth day. It is understood Howe indicated his intentions to return to the club he had previously played for, and managed for just over two years, in discussions with the Burnley board on Tuesday.
There was confusion among the squad after yesterday’s training session, with top scorer Charlie Austin – Howe’s first signing – saying: “He took training this morning (Thursday) and obviously we’ve heard the same stories as everybody else, we’re just waiting to see what happens.
“I hope he stays but we have to respect his decision.
“Nothing’s been said, we were training as normal, just going about our business.
“The manager has shown great faith in me, he spent the money to bring me from Swindon to Burnley and it would be sad if he did leave.”
It is understood Howe wished some members of staff behind the scenes at Gawthorpe well yesterday before he left the training ground around 5pm.
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