Monday 16 October 2017

Ireland forward Jonathan Walters could be about to switch Premier League clubs this summer - report

Jonathan Walters could be on his way to Burnley. Photo: REUTERS
Jonathan Walters could be on his way to Burnley. Photo: REUTERS
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Stoke have received an offer of up to £3m from Burnley for their Ireland striker Jonathan Walters, according a report in the Daily Mail.

Walters has been linked with a move away from Stoke in recent weeks and if the Mail report is accurate, he may be about to link up with an already healthy contingent of Irish internationals at Burnley.

Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Kevin Long and Stephen Ward are all on the books with the Clarets and now their manager Sean Dyche may be eyeing up one of the most experienced members of Martin O'Neill's Ireland squad.

A move to Burnley could be a boost to Ireland's hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup finals, with regular starts for Walters in short supply at Stoke last season as he was something of a utility player for boss Mark Hughes.

Walters started just 13 Premier League games and scored four goals last season, but his experience and battling qualities would be well suited to the brand of football Dyche wants to play at Burnley.

The Burnley boss did a fine job of guiding his team to Premier League safety last season, but he admits they face a fight to stay in the top flight again next season as they operate with a smaller budget than their rivals.

“Newcastle are coming up, we’re not going to catch them, they’ve got the owner’s money, same with Brighton. Brighton’s wage bill is above ours already,” Dyche told the Lancashire Evening Post.

“Then you’ve got Huddersfield. I believe their owners’ wealthy but are running it steady, they want to run it more like a concern.

“So two of the three coming up are going to be above us immediately financially.

“A fan said to me ‘we’re the same as Newcastle now, because we get the same TV money, but it's not like that.

"They’ve got a fella behind them who is a billionaire, on 50,000 attendances and all the corporate and shirt sales.

“But that’s how fans sometimes thing, why are they spending more than us what we get the same TV deal? But often they have a benefactor who says ‘go for your life’.”

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