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Burnley look resigned to losing centre-back and star performer of the season Michael Keane in the upcoming summer window, as The Mirror reports that the 24-year old has agreed contract terms with Premier League giants Liverpool.
Keane has been one of the most sought-after players with the likes of Everton, Chelsea and former club Manchester United all credited with an interest. And it was also reported by The Express that United were in pole position to seal the defender’s signature in the summer. But Liverpool seem to have stolen a march on their bitter rivals in the race for the Englishman.
Keane has been Burnley’s best player of the season and has been instrumental in the Clarets managing to stay up in the English top division upon their promotion. His performances this season saw him earn nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year as well. But with a move to Anfield almost a done deal for the player, manager Sean Dyche will be scouring the transfer market for a player to fill in the hole that he will leave behind. Here are two options that Burnley might look at, to replace the exit-bound Keane:
The 22-year old defender had found first-team football hard to come by under Rafael Benitez this season in Newcastle’s EFL Championship title-winning campaign.
Mbemba had enjoyed a great breakthrough season upon joining Newcastle in the summer of 2015 from RSC Anderlecht. He was one of the bright spots for the Magpies in a season that ended in relegation. But this time around, he has found himself on the sidelines and as a result, he has made only 13 appearances. His only goal of the season came in the final game against Barnsley, which Newcastle won 3-0, to seal the title triumph.
It seems very unlikely that the DR Congo international will feature in Benitez’s scheme of things next season in the Premier League. But he is a natural talent and has shown that he can cut it out in the top-flight after a highly impressive debut season back in 2015-16. Definitely worth an option for Burnley to consider as a replacement for Keane.
The Cardiff City captain has been one of the best performers for the Bluebirds in what has been another disappointing campaign in the Championship for them.
Morrison, who arrived at Cardiff in 2014 from Reading, has grown into an influential player in the backline, but has often been in for criticism and isn’t the most famous among the Bluebirds’ faithful either. The 26-year old has played 46 games across all competitions this season and has chipped in with 4 goals and 5 assists – great numbers for a centre-half.
He might not be the most natural ball playing defenders around, but he brings in a lot in terms of tenacity and his aerial prowess is also a force to be reckoned with. Having spent three frustrating campaigns with the Welsh club, Morrison may consider a move away in the summer. With just a little over 12 months left on his deal that will expire in the summer of 2018, Burnley might look at him as an economical and a solid option.