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Duo in Burnley's sights
BURNLEY are understood to have revived their interest in Bournemouth midfielder Marc Pugh – and they are also seeking permission to take Australian A-League goalkeeper of the year Mat Ryan on trial.
Pugh was a Clarets target last season and the Lancashire Telegraph understands that Burnley are once more looking into the possibility of signing the 25-year-old, who started his career at Turf Moor, after Bournemouth admitted they may have to sell.
Pugh is in the final year of his contract at Dean Court and is refusing to sign a new deal, with his heart set on a move to the Championship.
And the Clarets are also interested in signing goalkeeper Ryan – with Central Coast Mariners football director Lawrie McKinna revealing that they are considering a request for the 20-year-old to travel to Turf Moor for a trial during the first two weeks of pre-season.
Ryan was called into the Australian national squad for the first time in February and his advisors are reported to have also lined up further potential trials at West Bromwich Albion, Ipswich and Bristol City.
Lee Grant is currently the only senior keeper under contract with Burnley for next season, with deals still to be agreed with Brian Jensen and Jon Stewart, and Ryan – said to be worth at least £300,000 – already has a British passport.
The Clarets are also set to sign fellow Australian goalkeeper Daniel Nizic, 17.
"We’ve had the request, it’s not an offer as yet and we’re considering it,” McKinna said of Burnley’s approach for Ryan.
"Our only big concern is that he hasn’t trained for four weeks, and we want to make sure he’s fit enough to go over.”
Pugh, a former pupil at All Saints Catholic Language College in Rawtenstall, came through the Clarets’ youth ranks but was released at the age of 19.
He has since impressed in the lower leagues, though, and it was Burnley boss Eddie Howe who signed him for League One side Bournemouth two years ago.
The former Bury, Shrewsbury and Hereford man has since scored 26 goals from a wide midfield position and believes he is now ready for the step up to the Championship.
With just 12 months left to run on his current contract, Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell has said that they may have to sell the player this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
Now estimated by south coast sources to be valued in the region of £400,000 or £500,000, Derby boss Nigel Clough is thought to be interested and Cardiff have also been linked.
Howe worked with Pugh for six months on the south coast before moving to Turf Moor and remains an admirer.
Burnley watched the midfielder last season as they contemplated a possible move during the January window, although no transfer was forthcoming then.
They will now consider whether to make their move this summer but Mitchell warned interested clubs that Pugh would not be sold on the cheap.
“They have got to come up with a good offer and a good offer is what he is worth to us over the next year,” he said.
“We have got to consider whether he stays with us next season and walks away for nothing, or if we get a fee for him now.”
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