Sunderland have slapped a £15 million price tag on the head of winger Jack Clarke as Premier League outfit Burnley continue to circle, according to Football Insider.
The 22-year-old has been subject of interest from last season’s Championship winners, with reports claiming that a £10 million bid had been rejected by the Black Cats earlier this month.
It was thought that Sunderland’s stance was that the former Leeds United star was not for sale, although TEAMtalk stated that Clarke would be keen on a move to Turf Moor as he looks to test himself in the Premier League.
Initially joining the Wearside club on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2022, the attacker headed to the Stadium of Light later that year on a permanent deal and played a starring role in a team which made the play-offs in their first season back in England’s second tier. It is that form which caught the eye of Clarets’ boss Vincent Kompany, who would have witnessed first-hand Clarke’s abilities when the two sides met in the Championship last season.
Less than two weeks remain of the current transfer window, although the news that Sunderland have now named their price may tempt Burnley to raise their bid, with their last offer thought to have included add-ons which totalled an additional £2 million.
Manager Tony Mowbray is currently short of attacking options though and will be keen to keep hold of the player for as long as possible whilst other avenues are explored. Goals have proven difficult to come by in the opening weeks of the new campaign, and Clarke was on the scoresheet in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Preston North End.
Speaking last month, the former Celtic boss believed that the former England under-20 international would remain at the club after they rejected Burnley’s advances, although admitted that every player has their price;
“I don’t think they (Burnley) are anywhere near, really, where we think that a potential deal (is close to being agreed) – one that we don’t want to do, but it would be silly for any football club to say ‘he’s not for sale’ because every single player has got his price. It feels to me that that Burnley are going away.
“They have got other options, other choices. They were testing the water as far as I could see and I think the right decision for our football club was made.”
Although Mowbray stated last month that he believed Burnley’s interest was dwindling, it appears as though the North West side are not yet prepared to give up on their target.
Sunderland’s have always stated that they are reluctant to sell, but the fact that a price has now been set indicates that things may be moving forward in the background.
The Black Cats would surely not be prepared to let Clarke go unless an ample replacement is found though, although £15 million can go a long way in the Championship, particularly when they harbour ambitions of improving on last season’s play-off semi final exit. Expect this one to drag on until the end of the transfer window.