Premier League side Burnley are closing in on a £12m move for Stoke City centre-back Nathan Collins, as revealed by us here at Football League World.
The Potters are looking to cut costs this summer, so this move for their highly-rated 20-year-old is no real surprise.
Nonetheless, it will be a massive blow to the Championship side and it comes as a result of their mediocre midtable finishes in the second tier in recent years – and any more departures including Joe Allen and Peter Etebo are likely to come as the Staffordshire side look to rebuild a more affordable squad.
In an article for the Stoke Sentinel, former Potters left-back Mike Pejic who played for the club back in the 1960s/70s, reflects on his anguish at not seeing Collins stay for the long-term but believes this Premier League move for the 20-year-old is a good deal for Burnley and the centre back.
Writing about this and the state of the Potters’ finances, he stated: “It would have been nice to see the Stoke team built on Collins and Harry Souttar together at centre-back, a solid base of a spine with Joe Bursik or Adam Davies behind.
“But money talks when you’re at this level, balancing Financial Fair Play and a lack of income – and every player with ambition wants to challenge themselves at the top.
“You won’t want to leave the club where you’ve made your breakthrough but sometimes you have to make hard decisions.
“Collins has shown his ability and potential and Burnley would be a good team for a defender to join, just as Erik Pieters and Phil Bardsley have found after leaving Stoke.”
Pieters linked up Bardsley in 2019 at Turf Moor for an undisclosed fee and the duo are now set to enter their third consecutive season together in the top flight, with the latter signing a new deal in March to extend his stay in Lancashire to next summer. Another Potter is now set to join them unless another club swoops in or the deal falls through.
Because Sean Dyche is able to get the very best out of a limited squad, many talented Championship players would do well at Burnley even with the need to make the step up.
Cardiff City striker Kieffer Moore is another second-tier player who may benefit from the 49-year-old’s willingness to take a chance on players from a lower division – so all in all – Collins’ move would be a good one for him if it goes through.
But coming back to Stoke, it’s a good job they still have James Chester, Harry Souttar and Danny Batth at their disposal, with Bruno Martins Indi’s future in England looking uncertain and Liam Lindsay and Kevin Wimmer both already leaving the club.
The Staffordshire side are almost certain to add another central defender to their ranks if this deal is confirmed, but they will not be able to spend anywhere near the £12m they are likely to receive for Collins due to tight financial restrictions.