Sean Dyche has revealed Burnley are working to bring Danny Drinkwater to the club on loan from Chelsea.
The midfielder was understood to be at the Clarets’ training ground on Thursday but Dyche insisted it was not yet a done deal just three hours before the deadline.
Asked about his likely transfer deadline day dealings, Dyche said: “There’s a maybe on Nakhi Wells going out and a maybe on Danny Drinkwater coming in.
“That’s not confirmed. There’s more than just the i’s to dot and t’s to cross. It’s got a reasonable chance but everyone needs to agree to get it done.”
After beginning his career with Manchester United, Drinkwater starred in Leicester’s stunning Premier League title-winning campaign, earning him a £35million move to Chelsea two years ago.
But he has made just five Premier League starts for the Blues and his only appearance last season came in the Community Shield a year ago.
If he can show anything like the form he produced for the Foxes, then Drinkwater would be a coup for Burnley, who lacked creativity in midfield last season in the absence of Steven Defour.
Defour missed most of last season through injury and is still some way away from a return following calf surgery.
Dyche said of Drinkwater: “I think it would be a challenge for him. I don’t think for one second he’d come here thinking that he walks in the team – or he’d be naive if he did. We like the players that have done well for us over time.
“We all know there’s no guarantees with any signing you make, you can only hedge your bets in the right way and I can only imagine after a quiet couple of years he’s hungry and he’s got a desire to prove himself, first of all to himself.
“He’s a good player, we all know that. But to prove to himself what he’s about and obviously that knocks on to the team, and that’s the idea.
“But first things first, we’ve got to get it done, and then second thing he’s got to be fit enough and ready enough and full of that desire to go and oust the people who are here.”
Wells joined Burnley two years ago from Huddersfield for £5million but is yet to start a game and looks set to return to QPR, where he spent last season, on loan.
Burnley sold goalkeeper Tom Heaton to Aston Villa but rebuffed interest from Leicester in England defender James Tarkowski.
“It’s a different club now than even as short as two or three years ago,” said Dyche.
“We’re not splashing it, as you know, massive net spend of about £5million in this window. But we are in a very healthy position on the other side. When people come knocking, we’re certainly not a club that needs to open the doors easily now, unless it’s right and it’s proper to do so.”
With Heaton out of the picture, Nick Pope looks set to reclaim the number one jersey, although Dyche insisted Joe Hart – and new signing Bailey Peacock-Farrell – are in the picture.
“I don’t put people in a pecking order,” he said.
“I think we’ve got three good keepers. Joe’s delivered a very strong pre-season so he’s obviously showing signs that he’s ready. Popey equally and then Bailey has come in to support that.”
New signings Erik Pieters and Jay Rodriguez, back at the club where he began his career, could make their debuts against Southampton on Saturday.
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New arrival Joao Cancelo is relishing the challenge of attempting to oust Kyle Walker from the right-back berth at Manchester City.
Cancelo is expected to provide stiff competition to the England defender after joining the Premier League champions from Juventus on Wednesday in a deal that saw Danilo head in the opposite direction.
Figures released by Juve indicate City paid 28.6million euros (£26.4m) to complete the transfer for the Portuguese, who put pen to paper on a six-year contract.
The 25-year-old, who can also operate on the left side of defence, said via a translator at his unveiling: “I’m aware that Kyle Walker is one of the best players, a great player.
“But I always love challenges and bringing myself to the limit so I’m going to compete with him and try to get my place in the starting XI.
“I always have the dream to be the best right-back and the best player in my position, I think only playing with the best can you achieve that and Manchester City has the best players, it is a great place to develop.
“At the end of the day it will be up to the manager to choose one or the other. But I can promise I will work hard to try to compete as best as I can.”
Cancelo, who was an unused squad member for Portugal as they toasted Nations League glory in June, is City’s third acquisition of the summer following the arrivals of Angelino and Rodri.
This will be Cancelo’s fourth club in as many seasons though he believes he will be at the Etihad Stadium for the long haul and admitted manager Pep Guardiola was a major factor in him signing for the club.
He said: “There are a lot of young players in the squad, for the present and the future as well, so I took the risk to join Manchester City. The Premier League is a competition that’s always fascinated me and one I’ve always liked.
“Pep Guardiola was also a big reason for me to join. I’ve always admired him and the way he plays since he started at Barcelona.
“It’s not by chance that Manchester City have won the last two Premier Leagues and Manchester City won all the domestic trophies in England last season.
“I love his style of play, his character, he’s very detail orientated. Everyone talks amazing about him so I’ll accept the challenge and hopefully he will make me a better player.”
Cancelo spent a little over a year at Juve, where he signed from Valencia for £35m, but revealed he formed a close bond with compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.
He said: “I have a friend at Juventus in Cristiano Ronaldo, he helped me a lot while I was there, both personally and on the pitch.
“He’s an extraordinary person and for me he’s the best. We stay in touch, we talk, we are good friends but I thought at the time the best for me was to join Manchester City.”
Cancelo revealed the death of his mother in a car accident six years ago is a further motivation, adding: “When I lost her I was determined to try to make my dream come true.
“In the last four years I’ve been at four different clubs and always improving. I’m always fighting to be the best I can and I think I can achieve this here.”
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It’s time for some final tinkering before the Fantasy Premier League season gets underway.
After a long summer, we’re eager to sink our teeth into Gameweek 1 and, hopefully, get off to a flyer.
Liverpool and Manchester City assets will unsurprisingly be among the most popular and the two sides begin with attractive fixtures. The Reds face newly-promoted Norwich City at Anfield while the reigning champions travel to West Ham.
The clash of the weekend though will be staged at Old Trafford where Manchester United begin the new season against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Here’s a few picks to help you get off to a great start.
CAPTAIN – MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL | 12.5M
Mohamed Salah is probably the safest captaincy pick to begin with. The Liverpool star has been the game’s top-scoring asset for the last two seasons, bagging 259 points last term.
Despite his returns, the emergence of Sadio Mane was a drawback for Salah owners. The Senegalese nearly matched his team-mate while being a whopping 3.5m cheaper as he was priced at 9.5m and Salah at 13m.
This time around though, his value has risen to 11.5m, just 1m less than the Egyptian. That, coupled with the fact that Salah has had some minutes in pre-season and played in the Community Shield against City last week as opposed to Mane who is yet to feature, makes him the more appealing option.
Salah also looked like Liverpool’s biggest threat against the Citizens and having topped the charts for shots last season with 137, he should enjoy numerous efforts at goal against Norwich.
He has a total of 78 direct goal involvements over the last two FPL seasons. Salah’s simply the best choice.
RAHEEM STERLING (12.0m) will be the one hoping to dethrone Salah as FPL’s top scorer. He was pivotal to City’s title-winning campaign and fell 25 points shot of the Liverpool man’s tally. He’s bound to be City’s main man again, especially with Leroy Sane injured, and should breach West Ham’s defence.
HARRY KANE (11.0m) looks like he may be geared up for a fine season. Even though he was far from his sharpest last term, he averaged 3.6 shots per game, more than any other player. Meanwhile, his 1.6 shots on target per game was only topped by Salah. A price drop from 12.5m to 11m is most welcome as well and he takes on Aston Villa at home first up.
NICOLAS PEPE (9.5m) is Arsenal’s bright new star in attack and while many will be apprehensive about captaining a foreign recruit on his Premier League debut, he presents a great differential. He’s owned by less than 7 per cent so far and is listed as a midfielder though he could well operate in a front three. Away to a Newcastle side reeling from a tumultuous summer, it could be the perfect storm for the Frenchman.
ONE TO GET
GYLFI SIGURDSSON | EVERTON | 8.0M
Many fail to realise that Gylfi Sigurdsson had his best-ever FPL campaign last season with 13 goals and six assists. He’s firmly established as the No10 for Everton and is on set-piece and penalty duty. He will also have the gifted Moise Kean to link up with in attack now while enjoying great fixtures early on starting with a trip to Selhurst Park. Take all that into account and the Iceland international is a steal at 8m.
ONE TO AVOID
WILLY BOLY | WOLVES | 5.0M
With Matt Doherty rising to 6m this season, many FPL managers have turned to other assets in Wolves’ defence. Most seem to have settled on Willy Boly at 5m but opting for Wolves defenders entirely at the moment may be a mistake. They begin with a tough run of fixtures and have a Europa League qualifier in Armenia against FC Pyunik just two days before their opener away to Leicester.
JOSHUA KING | BOURNEMOUTH | 6.5M
At just 6.5m, Joshua King is a budget striker still capable of delivering consistent returns. While team-mate Callum Wilson (8m) is more explosive, King has the advantage of being on penalty duty while being significantly cheaper. Bournemouth start by hosting newly-promoted Sheffield United and King averaged 5.3 points per home match last season.