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Thursday 27 July 2017

Sean Dyche: I can't stop managers coveting likes of Andre Gray and Michael Keane

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is learning to live with interest in his players, including striker Andre Gray, pictured
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is learning to live with interest in his players, including striker Andre Gray, pictured

Burnley boss Sean Dyche accepts there is nothing he can do to stop other managers coveting his players after Andre Gray joined Michael Keane in the gossip pages.

Dyche has spent much of the season fending off reported interest in central defender Keane, with Chelsea, Everton and Leicester among those linked at different times with the 24-year-old.

Now striker Gray, who has netted seven times this term and has 18 months left on his contract, is said to have piqued the interest of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.

The Clarets lost Kieran Trippier to Spurs after their last season in the Premier League, while one of Gray's predecessors in attack - Danny Ings - left for Liverpool.

But Dyche knows there is no halting transfer rumours and is focusing on matters at hand - for player and club.

"It's a very different business from 10 years ago. I heard another manager the other day speak completely openly about someone else's player...I couldn't believe what I was hearing," he said.

"I thought: If that was on a phone, it would be an illegal approach. The way it is now, it's just people throwing names around willy-nilly about who they want, who they can get, what their contract situation is.

"It's not a private business any more. It's just out there. You have to adapt to it and be flexible within it. It's all you can do."

Gray has proved a hit on his first season in the top flight, an opportunity he earned by climbing the ladder from non-league Hinckley United via Luton and Brentford.

But Dyche hinted Gray was not yet the finished article and is happy to continue giving him a platform to develop rather than cashing in.

"He is still learning, he's still adapting to life in the Premier League," he said.

"There's a lot of work he needs to continue doing, which he's willing to do, and we enjoy what he's doing for us. That's it really.

"They keep playing, we want them to perform, and the rest takes care of itself one way or the other down the line somewhere."

Burnley, meanwhile, have signed the grandson of 1966 World Cup winner Ron Flowers from Brocton, who play in the ninth tier of English football.

Harry Flowers, 20, has been playing in the Premier Division of the Midland League but will now go straight into the Clarets' development squad.

Ron Flowers earned 49 caps for England and was a non-playing member of Sir Alf Ramsey's triumphant squad, eventually being awarded a winners' medal in 2009 alongside others who had not featured in the starting XI.

The Clarets also announced the signing of 17-year-old striker Harry Limb from Wisbech Town, also in the ninth tier.

The former Boston player had been linked with several league clubs, as well as Burnley's weekend opponents Swansea.

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