Burnley will be looking to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking after narrowly missing out on survival earlier this month.
Previously looking as though they had a chance of beating Leeds United to safety, they now face the reality of needing to adapt to the financial challenges of the Championship, with departures likely to happen in the next few months.
They are yet to confirm their new manager – but Vincent Kompany is the man thought to be closing in on a move to Turf Moor as he prepares to take the top job in Lancashire.
Quiz: Can you identify each of these 24 ex-Burnley players just by looking at 3 clues?
He will have a big job in picking his troops up following their fall to the second tier, though it could be an exciting challenge for the Belgian considering the calibre of players he has at his disposal.
Departures of players like James Tarkowski could provide Kompany with the room to bring a few additions in between now and the end of the summer transfer window, with decisions needing to be made on incomings and outgoings.
With this, we take a look at some of the transfer dilemmas the ex-Manchester City defender will face in the coming months.
Pope’s price tag and a potential replacement
According to The Sun, the Clarets are prepared to slap a £40m price tag on England international Nick Pope ahead of the summer window, with the shot-stopper likely to be the subject of intense interest.
Fulham and West Ham United have both been linked with a move for the 30-year-old who may want to seal a return to the top tier in time for the 2022 World Cup later this year – but will only be able to do so if he moves away from Turf Moor in the coming months.
His contract expires in 2023 but with the club having the option to extend that by a further 12 months, they hold a sizeable amount of power at the negotiating table with other sides, though the player may push for a move away if he is desperate to remain in the top flight.
At 30 and with his current contract situation, this upcoming window may be the period when they can secure the most money for him, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave.
If he does, Wayne Hennessey and Bailey Peacock-Farrell are both available as starting options, with the latter playing a big part in guiding Sheffield Wednesday to the play-offs last term. The Northern Irishman’s presence may persuade the club not to recruit a replacement for Pope if he goes.
Time to cash in on Collins or McNeil?
Nathan Collins has been linked with a move away from the relegated side less than 12 months since his arrival from Stoke City.
This is no real surprise though considering his performances during the 2021/22 campaign, with Leeds United and Newcastle United both thought to be keeping tabs on his current situation ahead of a potential approach this summer.
His contract doesn’t expire until 2025 though and with the option of a further 12 months, surely it would be worth keeping him with Tarkowski on his way out? Unless he forces his way out, you could easily see him remaining in Lancashire.
Another player that has a 12-month option on his contract is Fulham target Dwight McNeil, though his original deal expires in 2024. With three years effectively left on his contract though, whether they sell him could potentially come down to whether they cash in on Collins or Pope.
And like Collins, player power may decide whether a move materialises or not. It would be a surprise to see all three assets in Collins, McNeil and Pope leave though unless their financial situation is dire.
How extensively do they use the loan market?
Kompany hasn’t even arrived at Turf Moor yet and they have already been linked with a move for Manchester City’s Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who may be available on loan this summer.
Already plying his trade under Kompany at Anderlecht and having strong links with City following his spell at the Etihad Stadium, the Clarets may be in pole position to land him and considering Tarkowski’s departure is all but inevitable, this would be a good addition.
But how extensively should they use the loan market? Ideally, they will want to buy a few permanent players in their bid to build for the long term and that can only be a positive in the coming years.
However, the relegated outfit needs to pay off a sizeable debt to MSD Holdings and that may mean they are restricted in what they spend this summer, meaning heavy use of the loan market could be on the horizon.
That may be a good strategy to pursue considering Nottingham Forest’s success with their five loanees during 2021/22 – but it isn’t ideal for the long term.
Perhaps the free agent market may be good for striking a happy medium in terms of minimising expenditure but getting new players tied down on multi-year deals.