What to do with the Steven Fletcher Money?
It has been a long drawn out affair but former Burnley striker, Steven Fletcher this week finally returned to the Premier League after leaving relegated Championship club Wolves and signing for Sunderland and penning a four-year contract. He signed for the club on Friday for an undisclosed fee. Transfer fees of £14-£15 million were being mooted at one point but it is thought Fletcher probably signed for about £12 million with about another £2 million add-ons involved.
Why is this of any interest to Burnley? Well when Burnley sold him to Wolves in June 2010 following our own relegation from the Premier League, we cleverly included a 15% sell-on clause and that has now been triggered by his move to Sunderland. The Clarets sold the Scotland international for a transfer fee believed to be about £7 million to Wolves which in itself represented a profit of about £4 million having signed the player from Hibernian in June 2009.
Burnley now stand to gain 15% on any profit Wolves made from the deal so we could be about to receive anything in the region of £750,000 to £1 million for the 25 year old. The big question on Clarets fans lips is how will that money be used with the summer transfer window rapidly coming to an end? Will the money or most of it be absorbed into a black hole to keep the club afloat and reduce debt or will it all be ambitiously released for Eddie Howe to strengthen his squad even further following his six signings to date in the summer?
There has certainly been rumours around Turf Moor and in the local press that Eddie Howe is keen to add to his strike force following the injuries to Danny Ings and Martin Paterson. Ings is of course out for up to six months with a torn cartilage and Pato continues to struggle with a tight hamstring having been rested for the last two Championship games.
Assistant manager, Jason Tindall recently told the press:
'We would like to bring in reinforcements because we are very light
'With Pato (Martin Paterson) not quite being fit for Tuesday night and Ingsy being out for a few months it makes us very light, especially on the attacking front.
'We are always looking to strengthen, but whether we can or not is a different matter. Whether the players are available that we would like to bring in also impacts on that.'
If money can be provided to bring in more players, who would be on the target list? One player we continue to be linked with is Bristol City striker, Brett Pitman. The 24 year old forward is of course yet another former Bournemouth player known to Eddie Howe. The Jersey-born attacker played for the Cherries between 2004-2010 before joining Bristol City in August 2010 for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £1 million. He has scored 20 goals in 75 appearances for the Robins. Burnley have also been linked with Wigan striker-cum-winger Callum McManaman although that deal if the rumour is true would be on the basis of a season long loan. McMananan, just 21 came through the Everton youth system signing for Wigan on a free transfer in 2007 and signing his first professional contract in June 2009. In April 2011, he extended his contract for a further two years, keeping him at the club until 2013. He has though played but a handful of games for Wigan so far and in October 2011 he joined Blackpool on a three month loan scoring 2 goals in 14 appearances. These are but two options mentioned recently and it remains to be seen if we see any new players arrive at Turf Moor before the summer transfer window closes. Anybody who saw the debacle at Huddersfield on Saturday will certainly be hoping our attack is strengthened and so do I suspect do Howe and Tindall!