Rumour Mill-Doyle for Coyle?
Reading hotshot striker, Kevin Doyle looks likely to be joining a Premier League side in the close season and media speculation over the weekend suggests that newly-promoted Burnley could be interested in bringing the Republic of Ireland International to Turf Moor.
Newly installed Royals gaffer, Brendan Rodgers is under no illusion about the chances of keeping his star striker at the Madejski Stadium.
He said: 'When you have players who are Premier League players it becomes very difficult to hold onto them in the Championship - especially in the second season. I know when I was at Chelsea they were interested in Doyle so I know he is well thought of at that level. The reality of keeping him is difficult. I want the best players here but I am aware of the reality of the situation so we will see what happens.'
Kevin Doyle started his professional career with Irish club, St Patrick's Athletic in September 2001 before joining Eircom League Premier Division club Cork City in February 2003. Clarets fans might remember Burnley under Steve Cotterill being interested in bringing the player to Turf Moor back in 2005 but instead Doyle signed for Reading on a two year deal for €117,000 (about £78000)
Since that time he has taken both the Premier League and Championship by storm for Reading and this season was their leading goal scorer with 18 goals. He has a better than 1-in-3 average for scoring goals and has netted a total of 55 goals in 154 appearances for the Royals. He also has 26 caps for his country having scored 6 goals.
The Clarets of course ensured recently that Reading would remain a Championship side after defeating them in both Championship Play-Offs Semi-Final legs. The 1-0 victory at Turf Moor followed by a 2-0 win in the second-leg at the Madejski was the final straw for former Royals gaffer, Steve Coppell who resigned a day after missing out on Wembley. So could the Clarets indirectly involved in the Royals loss of a manager now also be about to steal their star striker?
The speculation in the media this weekend suggests that Owen Coyle could be about to test Reading`s resolve by putting in a £6 million bid for the 25 year old.
That is all well and good but can we believe there is any truth in this rumour? We may have £60 million available after reaching nirvana for the first time since 1976 but a lot of this dosh is already earmarked for other projects e.g. Turf Moor Redevelopments , bringing dressing room and media facilities up to Premier League Standards, developing Gawthorpe and maybe even buying back the ground. There is also the little matter of parachute payments should god forbid we find ourselves relegated after just one season in the top flight.
Brendan Flood has recently given a more modest indication of our likely transfer targets in the close season as we prepare for our first ever season in the Premier League. Coyle looks set to bring up to seven new players to Turf Moor and some of those will be loans. We also look unlikely to bring anybody to the club who demands a ridiculous salary, certainly anybody asking for £30,000 a week or more. There has been widespread speculation about how much Owen Coyle could be given for new players and their salaries with some suggesting a modest £10-15 million. Others have been far more optimistic suggesting the figure could be nearer £25 million but who really knows other than Barry Kilby, Brendan Flood, the rest of the board and of course Owen Coyle himself?
Whichever way you look at it, £6 million would be a sizeable chunk for one player especially when you consider the likely salary such a player could demand. You would imagine a number of other Premier League clubs with far more financial clout and top flight experience could also be interested in the player.
There is no doubt that Doyle would be an attractive proposition to most Clarets fans and we would all be delighted to see him partner Martin Paterson up front next season but realistically can anybody see this happening even if Coyle was interested?