Rumour Mill-McCann on Coyle's Radar?
Yes, it's that time of year again when the inevitable rumours start linking our players with a move to Owen Coyle's Bolton.
The latest gossip suggests Coyle is about to try and poach Chris McCann away from Turf Moor offering him a lucrative three-year deal.
The 23 year old midfielder is out of contract in the summer and it had been thought a new deal would have been sorted out by now. The fact that it hasn't only fuels the fear that the Coyle speculation could be true.
Burnley though are thought to be ready to fight tooth and nail to keep McCann at Turf Moor by offering him improved terms and to that effect it is understood they have tabled a new deal. Most Clarets fans will be hoping this can be agreed sooner rather than later especially if Judas is sniffing around.
It has been a torrid two years for McCann and he has only just returned to the first team following a long-term injury to his cruciate ligament which ultimately required corrective surgery and recuperation.
He played the last four games of the season in impressive style. After not playing in the first team for 15 months, he returned for our game against Derby County at Pride Park on the 23rd April this year scoring a goal in our 4-2 victory. The season also ended on a high note for Chris when he led out the team as captain in our final game against Cardiff City at Turf Moor.
The fact he has played so impressively after such a long lay-off seems to have alerted other managers to his potential and removed any doubts about his fitness. If Owen Coyle is plotting a raid, he knows only full well what a talent we have in Chris McCann. During his reign at Turf Moor, Coyle once described McCann as "the photo-fit of a modern midfielder" and also said:
"I think the world of him, both as a player and a lad
"If I was a manager at any other football club, you would look at Chris McCann - and I`m talking about the top level - because he has undoubted quality."
If Coyle does successfully come in for McCann, because the Irish man is not yet 24 there may have to be a tribunal to decide compensation. The Bosman Ruling prohibits players under 24 leaving a club for nothing although for this to happen in McCann`s case, Burnley will have to have offered him improved terms. Compensation well in excess of the £350,000 and £500,000 we had to fork out for David Edgar and Richard Eckersley would be expected for a player of McCann`s stature.
Bolton though are not particularly flush with money at the moment and are not thought to have a big transfer budget although they could have funds available should they sell Gary Cahill in the summer.
If the speculation is true, it will be interesting to see which way McCann jumps. Will he be tempted by a move to a Premier League club working again with his former boss or will he show some loyalty to the club that has nurtured him since coming through our youth system? I think I know the answer to that sadly but I do hope Chris proves me wrong and we can kick the awful Mr Coyle into touch!