Clarets not saving money - Dyche

Sean Dyche insists Burnley are not saving money, and will continue to look for the right fit to strengthen his squad.

The club have sold Michael Keane and Andre Gray for a combined total which could go as high as £48m, while spending around £16m themselves on five new faces.

The Clarets start the season at champions Chelsea on Saturday, with just under three week until the transfer window closes, and while Dyche admits the market continues to provide its challenges in terms of fees and wages, the club will search to boost his options.

He said: “It's not about saving money, when you're recruiting, they still have to be right for the club, it's a very difficult process, and our recruitment is still growing.

“The market is difficult and everyone's demand is to be in the Premier League. People are looking at players doing the job now, there are less young players playing because the demand of the Premier League is so high.

“We can only move and offer where appropriate. We’re attempting in a number of difference areas, but every manager, at bigger clubs than this, are saying how difficult the market is.

Andre Gray

Andre Gray

“It gets tougher and tougher.

“Some of the players we attempt to sign, we can often do the fee, but the contracts are too big. That's a constant debate point with myself, the chairman and the board.

“When do you move it forward? Who's the appropriate player? Once you move it forward, you shift on all your players as well.

“I've grown to understand that, it's very difficult.”

Gray was sold three days before the start of the season, in different circumstances to when Charlie Austin exited on the eve of the campaign three years ago when the club needed the funds, and Dyche added: “There's still a level this club operates to. It makes it tough at times, but it's the reality.

“Even with the talked-about finance, the club is still looking at years three, four and five to make sure they're looked after.

“It makes it tough, I've never denied it.

“It happened once before with Charlie Austin two days before the start of the season, so they gave us an extra day! But that led to the emergence of Sam Vokes and Danny Ings.

“When these opportunities come around, they're there to be gripped by the players, so there are obvious slots available.”

It was suggested in some national media that part of Gray’s decision to leave was down to Dyche not permitting his girlfriend, Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix, to sit in the directors’ box, but he laughed that off: “To be honest, his missus wanted a ticket to the directors’ box, so it was obvious, he had to go.

“Michael Keane’s brother wanted tea at half-time instead of coffee, so he had to go.

“It has nothing to do with them having a year on their contact, or the business of football…”

Gray, like Keane, had a year remaining on his deal, with no prospect of signing a new one: “No one wants to lose their best players, but there's a reality to all clubs, particularly this one, and players with a year left on their contracts at any club - it's fair to say we’re not market leaders - and they have the chance to look at other options.

“When they've got a year left, it's tough, for all clubs. How far do you go to keep them here as regards their contracts? What are they asking for, what are their agents wanting?

“Some outgrow the club financially.

“Andre is 26, it's an important stage of his career, and his life. With Keano, arguably, it's fair to say he wanted to move on on and off the pitch.

“On the pitch, Everton are pushing forward at a rate of knots, and off it, I'm sure his contract is good.”