Arsenal and Manchester City are reportedly after Burnley defender James Tarkowski in a bid to improve their home-grown quota.
Tarkowski has been one of Burnley’s top performers this season as they continue to confound expectations in the Premier League. According to the Times via the Metro, his performances have earned him the attention of Arsenal and Manchester City.
Both clubs would like to sign him in January, but could have to wait until the summer. The report says that Burnley will refuse any bids next month, but could be open to a sale at the end of the season.
This proved to be the case with Michael Keane, who joined Everton for big money ahead of the new season. It seems Arsenal’s and City’s interest is based on Tarkowski being English, however, over his actual ability.
Both clubs are reportedly keen to bolster their home-grown quotas. However, while that might be the case for City, Arsenal have plenty of players in their squad that qualify. I’d say Arsenal’s interest is more likely due to Per Mertesacker retiring in the summer.
In addition, Laurent Koscielny is getting older and spending more time on the sidelines due to injury. Tarkowski’s name can be added to the growing list of centre-backs who have recently been linked with the club. Amongst them are Mainz’s Abou Diallo and Wolfsburg’s Ohis Felix Uduokhai.
The 25-year-old is having a fine season with Burnley. He, along with Ben Mee, have been at the heart of a defence that has conceded 12 goals all season – the joint-best record in the Premier League.
Their efforts have helped Burnley to sixth in the table, although Tarkowski appears to be in the habit of conceding penalties, with no player giving away more spot kicks than he has this season.
One of those penalties came in Burnley’s a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in November, when he pushed over Aaron Ramsey in stoppage time.
If the Gunners are interested, they’ll be keen to monitor his performances and see if he can keep up his form for the remainder of the season.