Burnley reject enquiry from Wolves for defender James Tarkowski

JT

Wolves have reportedly had an enquiry for Burnley defender James Tarkowski rejected, that is according to The Times.

Tarkowski, who joined Burnley from Brentford in 2016 for £3m, impressed last season as the Clarets avoided relegation to the Championship during a turbulent campaign.

The 26-year-old's performances earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate's England squad for last year's pre-World Cup friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, where he made his debut in a 1-1 draw against the Italians at Wembley last March. Although Tarkowski didn't make Southgate's final 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia, he was named as one of five players on the former Middlesbrough defender's standby list.

Tarkowski still has three years left to run on his current contract at Turf Moor, though will be open to a move away from the Lancashire club to enhance his chances of a return to the international set-up. At Burnley, opportunities in the national side will be far more limited as opposed to playing for a team in the top half of the Premier League.

Wolves will be looking for reinforcements this summer due to their involvement in Europe next term, and although their defensive back-three impressed last season, with the increased schedule their jobs will be much harder throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

Conor Coady, Wily Boly and Ryan Bennett are all held in extremely high regard at Molineux, though it is probably the latter who would see a drop in game time should Tarkowski make the switch to the West Midlands.

The former Norwich man has been an important member of Nuno Espirito Santo's squad throughout the previous two seasons, but is probably the weakest out of the current three - Tarkowski would certainly be preferred in the heart of the back-line.

Another club reportedly interested in the Clarets centre-half is Leicester City. The Foxes are lining up a replacement for Harry Maguire, should the 26-year-old depart the club in the summer amid interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United.

The England international is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League right now and has been linked with a move away for some time now; should he leave, Leicester will need an instant replacement and Tarkowski fits the bill perfectly. Brighton's Lewis Dunk is understood to be another option for the East Midlands outfit.

During the last two Premier League seasons, only Brighton's Shane Duffy (106) has blocked more shots than Tarkowski (99). He also finishes second in terms of headed clearances (281), behind Duffy who has made 407.

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