SEAN Dyche has hinted that he won't stand in Tom Heaton's way should the Clarets captain ask to leave Turf Moor in January.

Heaton gave an interview last weekend in which he said he was frustrated at being out of the side and was keeping his options open come the transfer window.

Dyche doesn't want to lose the 32-year-old, who was his first permanent signing at Burnley in May 2013, but suggested that he would listen to Heaton if the England international expressed a desire to move on to get first team football.

The former Manchester United man looked set for a return to the side this summer when Nick Pope dislocated his shoulder, but he picked up a calf injury which saw Dyche sign Joe Hart from Manchester City.

"I thought he spoke very well because he’s fantastic professional, that’s a big part of why he’s club captain, not just for his performances but for his professional manner," Dyche said of Heaton.

"I think he’s being realistic. Me and Tom go back a long way, he was my first signing here, so we’ve got an open dialogue about what’s going on.

"He’s been very unfortunate, it started with his shoulder then he got injured again when Popey got injured again and I had to make a decision on that.

"In due course whatever needs to be worked out we will find a way of working it out.

"He knows for as long as he can know that he has a future here, it's just what part of that future is right for him at this stage."

Heaton arrived at Turf Moor on a free transfer having been relegated from the Championship with Bristol City, but he has enjoyed remarkable success with Burnley, winning three England caps along the way and captaining the side to the Championship title in 2015/16.

Dyche will discuss the issue of a move with his captain and will take Heaton's thoughts on board, but said the relationship was based on trust more than loyalty.

"I don’t think there’s a loyalty, if there was it would be he’s playing now, there’s more of a trust. I’m always open with my players," he said.

"We’d certainly be inclusive in the situation rather than me telling him or vice versa, it would be a chat because we’ve built up that trust and rapport over a number of seasons here.

"He was my first signing and he’s been absolutely amazing and continues to be so in his professional conduct even though he’s not playing at the moment."

Heaton missed out on Burnley's early Europa League qualifiers through injury, but was fit for the start of the Premier League season and said he was 'disappointed' to only find himself on the bench at Southampton on the opening weekend.

Asked if there'd been some difficult conversations between captain and manager, Dyche said: "I think there’s been some factual conversations, he’s a good guy to speak to.

"It’s different with Tom, I’ve known him virtually since I’ve been here and he’s known me equally so they’re not difficult conversations.

"The outcome might be difficult to find because I think he’s top class and I want him here."