Saturday 22 October 2016

Brentford unhappy over Burnley interest in Irish midfielder Alan Judge

Liam Blackburn

Published 14/01/2016 | 18:21

Republic of Ireland's Alan Judge
Republic of Ireland's Alan Judge

Brentford boss Dean Smith has hinted at his unhappiness over Burnley's rumoured interest in Alan Judge ahead of Friday night's clash with the Clarets.

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Irish midfielder Judge has weighed in with 10 goals and provided seven assists for the Bees this term to pique the interest of other clubs in this January transfer window.

Sean Dyche's Clarets have been heavily linked with a move for the former Blackburn trainee and Judge would follow ex-Brentford forward Andre Gray to east Lancashire if he were to move.

Burnley signed Gray for a £6mi club-record fee the day before Brentford visited east Lancashire in August, and Smith has queried the timing of the emergence of their apparent interest in Judge.

"It can be unsettling but to a player like Alan Judge, he just gets on with his game," Smith told a press conference.

"He's got a valuation to the football club, he knows that and he's been kept in the loop all along.

"Maybe Burnley's timing's not right but it depends on how you look at it with a game on Friday against them."

Judge has 18 months left to run on his deal at Griffin Park and Press Association Sport understands Brentford will offer the 27-year-old fresh terms in a bid to keep him.

However, Judge is not the only player interesting Dyche ahead of the Clarets' trip to west London, with Burnley also seeing a bid for defender James Tarkowski rejected because it failed to meet Brentford's valuation.

For now, Smith is focusing on the one player who did depart Griffin Park for Turf Moor recently and he hopes Brentford's familiarity with Gray will keep the Sky Bet Championship's top scorer subdued on Friday night.

"I think the lads know enough about him anyway to stop him," Smith added.

"We know he's a really good player who can score goals and we have to be at our best to make sure he doesn't score against us."

Dyche himself is having to deal with rumours about 16-goal forward Gray this month.

The Clarets manager was amused by a suggestion Swansea could look at signing him, not least because FIFA regulations would prevent him from playing for a third club this season.

"He's not allowed to play for another team," Dyche told the Burnley Express. "They know he's not allowed to play for anyone else this season.

"I do think it's interesting, the number of people that keep asking me about Andre - he's not allowed to move.

"Well, he could move, but he can't play for anyone else. And let's face it, if you're going to pay a lot of money you'd probably want to play him."

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