ALAN Harper's second loan spell at Third Division Cardiff City was back on today.

As we revealed in later editions of last night's Lancashire Evening Telegraph, the loan deal broke down after the experienced midfielder pulled out due to "personal reasons."

But after the speedy intervention of Cardiff chairman Samesh Kumar, Harper will resume his loan spell against Preston North End at Deepdale on January 1.

"I could not play in the the Christmas fixtures because of personal reasons and I decided I had no option but to turn down a second loan," revealed Harper.

"But Cardiff were brilliant and the chairman has done so much to help me in these difficult circumstances. I will be returning to them in the New Year."

Cardiff manager Kenny Hibbitt added: "Alan is such an honest guy. With the bereavement he felt he would not be able do himself or the team justice. But we have sorted it out and he should be available when we go to Preston on New Year's Day."

Burnley and Cardiff could now be set to thrash out a permanent deal for Harper who arrived at Turf Moor in August 1994.

Meanwhile, Peter Swan is ready for action against lowly Bristol City at Turf Moor tomorrow.

The giant defender returns from a three-match ban and is expected to take his place in the heart of the Clarets defence for the start of the hectic Christmas and New Year programme. Swan had a run-out for the second string at Leicester City on Wednesday and was named in the Burnley squad today.

"I don't know for definite whether I am playing or not but I am fit and ready to go," declared Swan.

"We have a massive week ahead of us with Blackpool and Swindon in the space of a few days. That is a big test for any club and I want to be part of the team again as soon as possible."

Midfielder Warren Joyce is the major injury doubt. If he fails a late fitness test then Jamie Hoyland could move into midfield with Swan taking over his role in the back line.

Another option open to manager Jimmy Mullen is young midfield ace Derek Adams, the top scorer in the Pontins League side.

Joyce has made steady progress from the hamstring injury which forced him out of the 4-2 victory at Swansea City.

But has not had a full training session this week and his chances were today rated as "slim" in what should be a Division Two home banker for the Clarets.

"The game against Bristol City is the start of the biggest week of the season for us," said manager Jimmy Mullen.

"We are in a healthy position in the league and we are looking for maximum points against Bristol to set us up for the matches against Blackpool and Swindon. Everybody is relishing the challenge."

Meanwhile, the Boxing Day derby clash against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road is a complete sell-out with the Clarets allocation of 2,960 snapped up.

Burnley hold their annual general meeting at the Centre Spot social club at Turf Moor tomorrow (10.30 am).

Peterborough United have agreed a further loan deal with Arsenal for former Clarets striker Paul Shaw. The forward spent two months on loan at Turf Moor last season.

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