Seamus Coleman urges Irish sides not to sell stars cheaply as Graham Burke nears move
Seamus Coleman believes that League of Ireland clubs should no longer flog off their prize assets at bargain-basement prices.
Graham Burke, who scored on his full Ireland debut against the USA last week, will return to club duties tomorrow when he lines out for the Shamrock Rovers against Bray Wanderers.
Preston remain favourites to sign Burke, though a bidding war could break out among their Championship rivals before a move is completed, with Rovers keen to secure at least €300,000 for the player, who is under contract until 2019.
That's more than double the fee which Preston paid Cork City for Seán Maguire last summer and, while Coleman, who famously moved to Everton from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000, feels that a player like Burke has to move to England to stay in the Irish squad, he wants to see clubs here get a fair price for their players.
Coleman insisted: "The national team needs more players in the Premier League and Championship. Hearing Graham is going over is bad for the league but I'm delighted that he's going to get to show what he can do over there.
"English clubs are getting players on the cheap. You see League One players going for millions. Obviously I'm going back nine years, 60 grand is a different story, but I would like to see players go for a few more quid than what they are," added Coleman, who is the subject of a song by Everton fans based around the coup of landing him for just £60,000.
With Rovers well out of contention for this year's League of Ireland title and even facing a battle to qualify for Europe via a decent finish in the league, they will almost certainly do a deal to sell Burke before the new English season starts.
And Coleman feels that Burke will have to move to stay in Martin O'Neill's plans for the Nations League qualifiers in September. "It's alright coming in and getting a few caps, I know people want to see the lads do well in the league but I want to see lads go over and be really successful for themselves as well.
"I'd love to sit here and say you don't need to make the step, they're the same player in the league as they are when they go over, but it's just proving yourself against that higher opposition, so I think it makes the manager's job a bit easier."