BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche is hopeful of landing David Jones after holding talks with the former Wolves and Wigan midfielder.
The 28-year-old had looked set to join rivals Blackburn Rovers earlier in the summer, after ending the season there on loan from the DW Stadium.
But the Clarets have joined the race for the former England Under-21 international’s signature, and now seem favourites to secure the services of the midfielder who is understood to have had a medical at Burnley last night.
Boss Dyche was cagey when asked if Jones could be added to his summer signings, but certainly did not rule it out.
“That would be nice, watch this space!” he said, smiling broadly.
The Turf Moor chief has spoken of the need to do transfer business discreetly, but his body language alone was enough to suggest he is confident of striking a deal.
Asked if there was a good chance of Jones signing, Dyche would only add: “There’s a number of people we’re having conversations with, and we have to fight accordingly, financially, to get the right bodies in.”
Jones would certainly come with the right pedigree.
Like summer signing Tom Heaton, the Southport-born player came through the youth ranks at Manchester United, but after turning professional found it hard to break into the team ahead of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, and later Michael Carrick, and made only four senior appearances for the Reds – all in cup competitions.
Instead Jones gained much of his earlier senior experience on loan with Preston, NEC Nijmegen and Derby, who made the move permanent for a £1million fee in January 2007.
He left for Wolves on a free transfer 18 months later, making 76 appearances in three years before joining Wigan on a free.
The Clarets squad travel to Cork today for an intense pre-season training camp and second friendly game on Saturday. At the time of going to press there was no clear indication as to whether Jones would join them in Ireland.
But trialist Scott Arfield will accompany the squad, after playing in Tuesday night’s friendly at Morecambe.
Of the former Falkirk and Huddersfield midfielder, Dyche said: “Scott’s trained with us for a week, we’ve invited him to Ireland and we’ll see how that moves forward.”
Charlie Austin will also return to the squad after being given the night off on Tuesday following the collapse of his anticipated move to Hull City.