Three Strikers and They Are Out?
Pato is '90 per cent certain` to leave Burnley according to the local press, Austin looks likely to be mopped up by a Premier League club and Bournemouth are not giving up on Danny Ings! Could these be desperate times for the Clarets and what sort of strike force will we have come the opening game of the new season against Bolton at Turf Moor? At the moment, only Sam Vokes appears to be safe from predation and even a couple of last season`s peripheral strikers, Alex MacDonald and Wes Fletcher have already been released this summer so we don`t even have much cover from the junior ranks.
It was the Lancashire Telegraph today that hinted that Martin Paterson, out of contract this summer was 90% certain to leave Turf Moor with reports that Championship rivals, Wigan (under new gaffer, former Burnley manager, Owen Coyle) and recently demoted League One, Wolves could be prepared to bid for the Northern Ireland international. Negotiations at the club to give Pato a new deal appear to have stalled and it is likely that a significant cut in salary could be one of the main reasons. It is no secret either that Paterson wants to secure a more traditional role up front as a striker rather than being expected to play a more wider role so that too could be a stumbling block if Sean Dyche is not prepared to guarantee such a request. There is certainly no lack of interest with up to six Championship clubs reportedly interested not to mention League One, Wolves. Wolves tried to sign Paterson on loan in March during Dean Saunders 'tenure and it is now thought new gaffer Kenny Jackett might be tempted to offer the 26 year old a permanent deal. Pato is currently away on his honeymoon so a decision might not be forthcoming until his return at the weekend
Meanwhile newly promoted club, Hull City have apparently upped the ante in their efforts to secure the services of Charlie Austin and are now thought to be ready to make a bid following their declared interest in the former Swindon striker. Burnley will be hoping to secure at least a £7 million deal for their key striker who still has a year of his contract remaining but realistically they may have to accept a more modest £4-5 million. Championship Play-Offs winners, Crystal Palace are also believed to have the striker on their radar.
If that`s not enough, Bournemouth promoted to the Championship last season under former Burnley gaffer, Eddie Howe look set to maintain their determination to re-sign Danny Ings and with a wealthy Russian businessman now on the scene may well succeed. Bournemouth saw an initial bid knocked back but would the club desperate for money accept an increased offer no matter what affect it would have on our morale and chances of promotion or for that matter relegation avoidance? If we lost all three strikers bearing in mind Pato would go for a free, what sort of money would be available to find suitable replacements, would they be of the right quality and would they accept lower salaries than a lot of our Championship rivals? Would we be able to compete at this level with an unproven strike force, one that would have to bed in and get used to their team mates? Interesting but potentially disturbing times ahead of that there is no doubt!