MANCHESTER UNITED misfit Phil Jones could be the shock name at the top of the shopping list Sean Dyche will hand to new Burnley chairman Alan Pace.
Jones, 28, has not played a single game this season because of a knee injury.
But he had been shunted to the sidelines anyway, despite signing a new contract two years ago that would keep him at Old Trafford until June 2023.
Dyche could be tempted to take him on loan for the rest of the season, especially as United have indicated they would be prepared to pay a large chunk of his £130,000 a week wages if he is loaned out.
And if Leicester or West Ham renew their interest in James Tarkowski – and meet Burnley’s £35million valuation, after falling short in the summer – the Clarets boss will be desperate to bring in an experienced replacement.
The snag is that as a former Blackburn player, Jones would be an obvious target for stick from Burnley fans, given the fierce rivalry between the Lancashire clubs.
But with Burnley playing behind closed doors, that is not going to be a problem for the foreseeable future.
Dyche will enjoy the luxury of handing Pace his list of January transfer targets this week, after his new boss promised to throw off the financial shackles.
The Burnley boss has always been forced to operate on a shoestring budget in his eight years at Turf Moor.
But after heading up the £200m takeover deal that saw American software giants ALK Capital claim an 84 per cent stake in Burnley, Pace has promised to back the manager in the transfer market.
Apart from considering a move for Jones, Dyche will stick to his tried and tested method of buying Championship stars he feels can cut it in the Premier League.
So his main targets will be Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien, Derby winger Jason Knight and Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall.
They should all fall within the £10-15m bracket, and Dyche will tell his new boss he needs at least two new faces this month to boost Burnley’s chance of staying up.
Dyche is also a fan of Millwall winger Jed Wallace and Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, who is currently out of favour at Selhurst Park.
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