Dwight McNeil is happy to focus on his football after brushing off claims he is wanted by Manchester United and Juventus with a maturity behind his years.
The 19-year-old has been a standout performer for the Clarets this season and we exclusively reported over the weekend how Leicester were leading the charge to sign him in January.
However, Wednesday’s papers claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was considering a move for the player in January after sending scouts to check on the England U21 international on a number of occasions and, with the player having grown up a United fan, would be eager to make the move back to Old Trafford.
That has followed reports in the Italian media that he also catching the attention of Serie A giants Juventus.
But having been quizzed upon the links, McNeil offered a mature response that belied his tender age.
“The gaffer [Sean Dyche] just calls it ‘outside noise’,” McNeil said.
“I’ve got to focus on my football and if that comes around it comes around in time. The lads here and the gaffer try to keep me level-headed and help me keep my feet on the ground.
“I think the most important thing is for me to concentrate on my football and see where that takes me in the future.
“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself because I’m still 19, I’m still young, I’m learning and I’m still maturing as a person and a player. We’ll just have to see what happens.
“My aim is to keep playing every week. All I want to do is play football for Burnley. I just want to keep playing and keep improving.”
McNeil, who made his Burnley debut on the final day of the 2017/18 season and now has 39 appearances to his name, insists he is trying to keep his feet on the ground when it comes to the attention he is receiving.
“Your friends send it to you and tag you in things, which you do look at,” he admitted.
“My agents tell my family to ignore it and just concentrate on the football side of things and they’d take care of that side if it ever came to it. I just concentrate on my football.
“It has a big impact on my family. They’re really good with it as well, they’re really mature, my dad [Matty McNeil] knows all about it. Everyone is just focused on the here and now rather than what could happen in the future.
“They told me, when I came back, to concentrate on what I’ve got to do and that will take me wherever it’s going to take me. The main thing was to look after myself and be ready for this season.”
Having been released by United’s youth set-up at the age of 14, McNeil has emerged as a player of genuine quality and one that already Dyche admits could one day soon be too good for the Clarets.