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Burnley take Stock of Doncaster ace
BURNLEY are considering a move for Doncaster’s Brian Stock after fellow midfield target Adam Clayton completed a transfer to Huddersfield Town.
The Clarets are keen to strengthen in central midfield and had been interested in signing Clayton from Leeds this summer but it was confirmed yesterday that the 23-year-old has rejoined his former United boss Simon Grayson at newly promoted Huddersfield.
But Eddie Howe has other midfield targets and the Lancashire Telegraph understands that one of those is Stock, who is likely to leave Doncaster following their relegation to League One.
Rumours of a bid being made are believed to be premature, and Doncaster have insisted that they have so far had no contact from the Clarets.
But Howe is a firm admirer of a man he once played alongside at Bournemouth and is understood to be contemplating whether to make an attempt to add the 30-year-old to his squad.
Burnley had previously been linked in January but, although acknowledging that he personally knew Stock, Howe said at the time that he did not expect anything to happen with the midfielder’s future secure at Doncaster.
Stock still has a year left on his contract but he is now expected to depart the South Yorkshire club, who may allow him to leave for a nominal fee or even for nothing as they attempt to reduce their wage bill after relegation.
A stylish ball-playing midfielder, he is said to be one of their highest earners after agreeing a bumper deal with the club following interest from Premier League sides 18 months ago.
Stock has since had injury problems that have hampered his form and, despite previously saying he wanted to end his career at the Keepmoat Stadium, it is believed that he would now be open to a move following relegation.
And a chance to be reunited with Howe, who he played alongside for a total of five years during the Burnley manager’s two spells as a Bournemouth player, could be tempting for Stock.
The Clarets had been looking at a move for Clayton but their decision to prioritise the £1.1m signing of Jason Shackell is said to have been a telling factor in the player’s eventual move to Huddersfield.
Leeds were reported to want £500,000 for Clayton but Burnley were eager to finalise the Shackell deal before moving on to other targets – conscious that their top priority was making sure they landed the centre back they wanted, and knowing that signing was likely to take up a large chunk of their budget.
Clayton was believed to be very interested in a switch to Turf Moor after hearing of the reports about the Clarets’ possible move for him, but the finances involved in the Shackell deal meant that Burnley were never in a position to match Leeds’ asking price.
Huddersfield, in contrast, did agree a fee with their Yorkshire rivals and were able to complete the signing of the midfielder on a three-year contract, with the Terriers currently making a number of moves to bolster their squad for Championship football.
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