BURNLEY have been forced to turn their attentions to new midfield targets after Craig Bryson staged a shock U-turn to stay at Derby County, but the Clarets have not given up on a club record move for Watford striker Troy Deeney, despite a rejected offer.
The Premier League new boys are also understood to be closing in on versatile former West Ham midfielder Matt Taylor.
Manager Sean Dyche has been formulating his squad in preparation for top flight football, and Bryson was set to be another piece in the jigsaw after landing winger Michael Kightly on a permanent deal from Stoke and goalkeeper Matthew Gilks on a free transfer from Blackpool.
But events took a surprise twist after the squad reported back to their Gawthorpe training base for duty yesterday, when Bryson instead opted to sign a new five-year deal to stay with the Rams.
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Burnley had expected to be adding the goalscoring midfielder to their squad after triggering a £750,000 clause in his existing contract and holding talks last week.
Derby were against the cut-price sale of a player they valued at around £2million, although investigations by the Professional Footballers’ Association into the terms of his contract showed there was nothing to force the Clarets to make an improved offer if they remained the sole bidders.
Even sources close to the 27-year-old expected the situation to be resolved quickly and for Bryson to arrive at Turf Moor before the weekend.
But after his 16 goals put Derby on the brink of promotion, losing out to QPR in the Championship play-off final in the end, Bryson was persuaded to stay at the iPro Stadium and signed a new deal running until 2019.
It is the second blow Burnley have suffered this week, with their undisclosed offer for Deeney turned down.
After Norwich City had a £5m offer rejected earlier in the summer it is thought that the Clarets’ bid was in the region of £6million – doubling the record figure they paid to sign striker Steven Fletcher from Hibernian ahead of their last Premier League campaign.
Watford are braced for improved offers, with Burnley facing competition from other clubs.
Norwich have retained their interest and Aston Villa are also tracking the 26-year-old, who scored 24 Championship goals last season.
Taylor, meanwhile, would be a free transfer after reaching the end of his Hammers contract.
The 32-year-old is familiar with the north west having spent three years with Bolton in the Premier League.