BURNLEY hope Stephen Ward will be the first of four signings before the end of the transfer window.

It is understood the Clarets were keen to secure a minimum of two of their targets, and Stephen Ward was the first of those new additions, with the Republic of Ireland international signing a three-year deal with the Clarets last night.

Ward was on course to return to Championship side Brighton on a permanent move from Wolves on Thursday after the clubs agreed a fee. But the left back, who turns 29 next week, did not turn up for his medical as scheduled in the afternoon after Burnley trumped the offer at the 11th hour.

Brighton have been chasing Ward all summer after he made 53 appearances on a season-long loan at the Amex, and were understandably angered by the defender’s no-show.

The offer was immediately taken off the table, but after Burnley made their move there was no chance of a change of heart.

Ward has been allowed to move with Wolves’ blessing, but the same cannot be said of Wigan Athletic’s James McArthur.

The midfielder has also been the subject of interest from the Clarets on the eve of the Premier League season, but Wigan boss Uwe Rosler is not open to offers, with Burnley having a reported £4million bid rejected.

“We made them aware of the situation – we don’t expect any more bids from Burnley because we told them the player is not for sale,” said Rosler.

“We didn’t give any valuation – we’re not looking to give any valuation because the player is not for sale.”

Burnley have so far met resistance for West Brom defender Craig Dawson and Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury but it is understood the Clarets are still in the hunt for both players.