Reported West Ham United and Leicester City target James Tarkowski has turned down a new contract at Burnley and is considering his future at Turf Moor, as he told the Telegraph.
While Gareth Southgate has done his best to ensure that ‘big club bias’ remains a thing of the past – handing England debuts to the likes of Connor Coady, Lewis Cook and Nathaniel Chalobah – Burnley’s star man remains on the outside looking in at international level.
Despite shining again this term, producing a superb man-marking job on the red-hot Harry Kane a few weeks ago, Tarkowski was left out of the 23-man Three Lions squad yet again for the November international break.
Two years on from his England debut, the 27-year-old may be wondering if a change of scenery is required.
West Ham failed with a number of bids over the summer but could return in January, even though Burnley have made it clear that Tarkowski is valued at £40 million (Daily Star).
But, with the former Brentford man reluctant to sign an extension to a contract which expires in 2022, the Clarets may soon have no choice but to listen to offers.
“Burnley offered me a contract near the start of last season, which, for me personally, it was nowhere near what I was going to sign and I think the club understood. And they’ve come back again this year, and still, for me, it’s just not right,” he said.
“Finances do matter, but, at this particular stage, whatever path I take I will get financially rewarded so the financial side is not even in my thinking at the moment. It’s more about my football.
“There is nothing I have heard or has been put to me that makes me think there is a scenario in which I would sign a new contract at Burnley. That can change, but currently that is the situation.
“If there are fans who are upset with me for not wanting to sign a new contract, then it’s their opinion and I understand they want the best for Burnley first and foremost.
“Just because I won’t sign a new contract, doesn’t mean it takes away from the commitment I have to my current contract.”
Leicester City have also been linked with Tarkowski since 2019 and, according to the Mirror (12 August, page 54) the once-capped international is open to joining a Foxes side sitting top of the table and embarking on a European adventure this term.
While Southgate has shown a reluctance to call up a Burnley player, he does appear to have a soft spot for Leicester.