Regular European action at Turf Moor in 2018-19 is within touching distance for Burnley after Thursday’s dramatic victory over Aberdeen.
Sean Dyche’s side netted twice in extra time to seal a 4-2 victory on aggregate, which sets up a double-header against Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir as the Clarets’ penultimate hurdle in the quest to reach the group stages.
Should Burnley emerge victorious in that affair, Dyche’s side must win overcome a potentially strong side with European pedigree in the play-off round – which may see the Clarets come toe-to-toe with a side who were knocked out of Champions League qualifying.
With just days remaining in the transfer window, Burnley do not have long to prepare their squad for potential European endeavours and these three targets should be Sean Dyche’s priority.
Ben Gibson: Middlesbrough
Burnley have excelled defensively in recent seasons, seeing the likes of Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and previously Michael Keane force their way into the England set-up. Sean Dyche wants further depth this season and Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson is the man being targeted.
The Northern Echo states that Burnley have seen a £11m bid for the defender rejected but a fight could occur in the final days of the window, with Everton also eyeing a move. However, Burnley can offer European football – whereas the Toffees cannot.
Jay Rodriguez: West Brom
Options up front are relatively weak for Sean Dyche’s side and that will be a problem if Clarets secure their spot in the Europa League group stages. Therefore, a new forward is on the agenda and it seems that Jay Rodriguez is the man within Burnley’s sights.
The Guardian claims Burnley are holding out for a fee of £20m for the 29-year-old striker, a considerable sum, but it would be worth it for the return of memorable European nights at Turf Moor – which could even stretch into the coming seasons.
“We’re wealthy in the sense of being a balanced club financially but we’re not wealthy in Premier League terms. Everyone is looking down on us. We’re the minnow of the Premier League.”
Leander Dendoncker: Anderlecht
For European football, big names are necessary and Leander Dendoncker can be exactly that for Burnley. The 23-year-old Belgium international has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a while but has snubbed advances this summer.
The Sun claims the Anderlecht midfielder has already turned down Crystal Palace and Wolves, with interest from bigger sides drying up. A move to a top league in Europe seems inevitable and Burnley should make a move to jump to the front of the queue in the final week of the window.