Burnley stunned as striker move ruled out in statement, with £12m deal now do-or-die for Dyche
Mislav Orsic will not be signing for Burnley after Dinamo Zagreb ruled out the transfer, but the Clarets are reportedly closing in on Wout Weghorst.
Burnley looked set for a relatively quiet January transfer window until Newcastle signed Chris Wood. They activated the New Zealander’s £25million release clause to bolster their front line.
As such, Sean Dyche’s Burnley sprang into action by making Croatia international Orsic their top replacement target.
Previous reports claimed that the Clarets felt ‘increasingly optimistic’ of landing the 29-year-old. In fact, chairman Alan Pace had travelled to Croatia to tie up the move.
However, Zagreb ruled the move out on Saturday with a club statement on their website (via the Daily Mail).
The player has instead opted to stay in Croatia and wants to finish the campaign with a successful league title triumph.
The statement read: “In recent days, great interest of the public and fans has caused the possible transfer of player Mislav Orsic to the English club Burnley.
“Following this topic, GNK Dinamo informs the public that the decision has been made that Mislav Orsic will remain a Dinamo player and we are looking forward to participating in the continuation of the season together with his teammates and contributing to achieving the goal of winning a new Croatian title.”
Nevertheless, Burnley have now switched their focus to Wolfsburg striker Weghorst.
The Netherlands international, also 29, stands at 6ft 6in and so is exactly the type of striker Clarets boss Dyche has opted for in the past.
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He has an impressive goalscoring record to boot, having netted 70 goals in 144 games for the Bundesliga employers.
The Telegraph has claimed that the deal for Weghorst could cost £12million. He had a tour of Burnley’s training ground on Thursday and trained alone on Friday when back in Germany.
Weghorst will help Burnley battle
Signing a new striker will be crucial for Burnley if they are to stave off relegation from the Premier League.
They currently sit bottom but have four games in hand due to recent postponements. Nevertheless, they would much rather have played those games rather than having to play catch-up.
Pundit Rio Ferdinand has said that he thinks Burnley will end up dropping down to the Championship, with Newcastle staying up.
“Before Norwich went on this run they’re on at the moment I had them as certainties to go down. They’ve come out of nowhere but this break has killed their momentum,” he said.
“I think the bottom-five are cut adrift. I’m going with Burnley, Watford and I think Norwich will get dragged back into it too.
“If this break hadn’t of happened I would give them a chance, but I think the break will ruin their momentum.
“I think Newcastle get out of it. I think they add one or two players [during the rest of the January transfer window] who will make an impact.”
Burnley play relegation rivals Watford in their next match, before matches against Manchester United and Liverpool fail to ease the burden of their fixture list.
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