BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche has taken aim at the club’s handling of its out of contract players.

The Clarets are still yet to come to an agreement with those whose deals expire at the end of the month meaning their involvement in the run-in is unclear.

Jeff Hendrick, Phil Bardsley and Aaron Lennon are all free to leave Turf Moor in the coming days with goalkeepers Joe Hart and Adam Legzdins nearing the end of their contracts.

Hendrick and Bardsley are the biggest headaches for Dyche with both being first-team regulars and the former having been linked with several clubs including AC Milan and Roma in Italy.

Clubs have until June 23, this Tuesday, to agree short or long-term extensions with players to see out the final nine games but Dyche has revealed chairman Mike Garlick and the board are only considering the former.

“As we have done in the past here we have let contracts run a long way down unfortunately,” Dyche told a press conference ahead of Monday’s trip to Manchester City.

“It is the price you pay if you do that and situations occur. No-one saw this situation (Covid) coming, that is quite obvious.

“We have got to be hopeful that the players see that they can do their extra month because at the moment that is all the chairman has allowed.

“I have just got to work within that and hope for a bit of goodwill from them and if they don’t then I understand it because it is strange times and they have to look after their own futures.

“It is in the balance at the moment and we will find out more over the coming days.”

Dyche didn’t shy away from the fact that with Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson all missing through injury, the club’s contract situation could leave him with a severely depleted squad despite his warnings.

“Nothing has been agreed, I am waiting for that situation to be taken care of,” the Clarets boss said.

“I advised many months ago, before Covid, what situations I felt were important.

“The club are not always thirsty to move things forward quickly so we have had to wait and then the Covid situation occurred which is obviously very serious, but in the football world, it has given a different feel and made it more complicated.

“The players all have a chance to finish their contracts at the end of June and that may occur because they have to be right for what comes next, whether that is with us or without us.

“I haven’t got a situation where there are long-term contracts or short-term at this time, we are waiting on the chairman to advise on what I said many months ago and if that doesn’t occur then it is fair to say we will be down to a very low squad number with the injuries on top of that.

“Of course it will affect the group but we have shown many times that there are many players here who are capable of doing the job and get results.”

The Clarets boss acknowledged that with his side returning at City on Monday, the day before the contract deadline, team selection could be an issue.

Burnley will need 20 players in each match-day squad between now and the end of the season with sides allowed to name nine substitutes, five of which can be used.

“It could be literally one game at a time because we still don’t know what is going to happen with those situations,” Dyche said.

“It would be helpful if the chairman could give me some clarity on that.”