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Burnley striker Rodriguez completes Southampton switch
STRIKER Jay Rodriguez has today become Burnley's club record sale after completing a £7million move to Southampton.
The Burnley-born 22-year-old is understood pen to paper on a four-year deal at St Mary's this afternoon, making him a record buy for Premier League newcomers Saints.
And the homegrown forward has gone with the best wishes of the Clarets board, after progressing from the club's centre of excellence to the youth team to the first team, becoming an England Under 21 international in the process.
"Burnley Football Club has a renowned tradition of producing talented young players, who have come through our youth system over many years,” a club statement read.
"Jay Rodriguez started his career with Burnley at a very young age and, throughout his time here, he has been a great player and excellent ambassador for the football club.
"However, ambitious and talented young footballers want to play in the Premier League and we wish Jay every success in his career.”
Rodriguez earned his first professional contract under former manager Steve Cotterill in the summer of 2007 and made his debut, from the bench, under Owen Coyle in December 2007.
Following a loan spell with Stirling Albion, the former Barden High School pupil scored his first senior goal to secure a Carling Cup win over Premier League side Fulham in September 2008.
He contributed to Burnley's promotion winning season of 2008/09, chipping in with five goals – his effort against Nottingham Forest securing goal of the season.
A broken ankle hindered his Premier League prospects, but once fit he joined Barnsley on loan and scored on his debut against Preston North End.
With Burnley back in the Championship the following season, Rodriguez broke into the side under Brian Laws and quickly established himself as a first team regular, going on to earn an England U21 cap in a friendly against Italy.
He ended the campaign joint top scorer alongside Chris Eagles, with 15.
Rodriguez took his game onto another level last season, top scoring with 21. He would surely have surpassed that figure had it not been for a groin injury in the latter stages.
His performances, and goals, earned him a place in the Championship PFA team of the year.
Although the fee agreed between Burnley and Southampton is undisclosed, it is believed Rodriguez's move tops striker Steven Fletcher's £6.5m 2010 summer sale to Wolves by £500,000.