Clarets ease City’s fears of losing Darel

Paddy Davitt Burnley boss Owen Coyle appeared to rule out a move for Norwich midfielder Darel Russell after snatching reported City target Kevin McDonald. Russell had been linked with a surprise summer switch to the north west despite having two years left on his existing Carrow Road deal after rejoining the club 12 months ago.

Paddy Davitt

Burnley boss Owen Coyle appeared to rule out a move for Norwich midfielder Darel Russell after snatching reported City target Kevin McDonald.

Russell had been linked with a surprise summer switch to the north west despite having two years left on his existing Carrow Road deal after rejoining the club 12 months ago.

Canaries' chief Glenn Roeder recently hinted he was prepared to offload defender Simon Lappin but has so far remained tight lipped over the futures of his remaining contracted senior players.


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Coyle confirmed the highly rated McDonald's arrival is another key part of his masterplan to build a Championship promotion-winning side based on youth - following Scunthorpe striker Martin Paterson's capture. Burnley's big spending boss insisted the Dundee teenager was always his long term target after the 19-year-old finally signed a three year Turf Moor deal that could rise to £500,000.

“We have wanted to get younger players in and Kevin ticked every box we were looking at,” said Coyle. “I have to say he had other offers, but I sat down with Kevin, his parents and representative and they were very much on board that Burnley is the right club for him. I have known Kevin since he made his debut at 16, when he played against my team, St Johnstone. I couldn't have been any more impressed by a young man who has developed each year into a fine footballer.

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“He has progressed to such an extent that we felt we wouldn't get him at one point. There were some big, big clubs courting his services, with Celtic and Everton among them, which Dundee had turned down offers at various stages. He is 6ft 3in, mobile, has a great physique and we feel we can make him even better in a good Burnley team for years to come.”

Russell is also a reported target for Championship rivals Crystal Palace but Eagles' boss Neil Warnock has identified Bristol City's combative midfielder Nick Carle as a potential replacement for Ben Watson.

Australian international Carle was a permanent fixture in the Robins' midfield that reached the Championship play off final last season after joining from Turkish club Genclerbirligi for £500,000 in January.

“There are two midfielders we've spoken to and really want, but we only need one,” said Warnock. “Carle is the type we're looking for. Both him and our other target have not only got bags of ability but also enthusiasm and legs - they go all over the pitch. They would help bring a little more dimension to us attacking wise.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws is tracking Chelsea youngsters Jimmy Smith and Jack Cork for a possible season long loan switch.

Former Norwich loanee Smith is close to agreeing a 12 month stint, according to speculation in Yorkshire. The 21-year-old midfielder suffered an injury-hit Norwich loan spell after picking up a calf injury on the club's pre-season Dutch tour last year. Smith was restricted to seven first team appearances but returned to Stamford Bridge when his initial six-month spell expired in January.

Blues' team mate Cork has also been linked with a Hillsborough switch after a hugely impressive campaign at Laws' former club Scunthorpe last season. The England U19 international was crowned the Iron's player-of-the-year, but both Chelsea youngsters can expect limited first team opportunities under new Blues' boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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