Burnley are planning a shock summer transfer for Blackburn Rovers centre-back Darragh Lenihan, according to TEAMtalk sources.
The 28-year-old from Dublin has come through the youth ranks at Ewood Park. He has played over 200 games for the club. The Rovers skipper has been a virtual ever present this season, making 37 appearances for the Championship promotion chasers.
However, his current deal is due to expire at the end of June. And now a host of clubs are looking at a potential move for the two-cap Republic of Ireland international.
The reliable defender is understood to be a target for Burnley, who are looking to replace James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.
Tarkowski, who was the subject of a number of bids from West Ham in 2020, is out of contract this summer. And the former Brentford man is still believed to interest the Hammers, who are looking to strengthen their backline.
Fellow Clarets defender Mee could also walk away from Turf Moor this summer. The 32-year-old’s deal is also up, but he has a 12-month extension option. And he says he wants to stay at the club.
“I’ve said in the past that it (ending career at the club) is something that I really want to do so we’ll have to see how it goes,” the Clarets captain told the Lancashire Telegraph in February.
“I can’t say much about that at the minute.”
A move for Lenihan would represent a piece of good business from Burnley, who would not have to pay a fee for the player. And TEAMtalk understands that Burnley are keen on the player whether they are relegated or not.
Lenihan ‘has been amazing’
The defender was rewarded for his excellent form with a first call-up to the national team squad in 12 months. But he had to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad for the games with Belgium and Lithuania after a scan showed up a torn groin.
Lenihan recovered quickly though and played in the draw with Blackpool last week.
Rovers boss Tony Mowbray rates him highly and told the Lancashire Telegraph last month: “Lenihan, no-one deserves it more than Lenihan. He’s been amazing for us.
Darragh Lenihan chased by Burnley to replace club icons
Darragh Lenihan from Blackburn Rovers is subject to interest from Burnley as they look to replace Ben Mee and Tarkowski
“With his contractual situation I’ve not had to question his mindset. But the professionalism he’s shown when he’s running out of contract has been amazing.
“Great credit to them, it’s an honour to play for your country. Hopefully they all get some game-time. Then we’ll come back and assess them for the game against Coventry.
“That’s why you need options and we’ll address it as we get to that moment.”