Gifton's off to sunny Spain

Last updated : 31 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
There's been some speculation that Gifton, out of contract in the summer, could be on the move and manager Steve Cotterill has confirmed that a deal will be completed today and that explains his absence from the squad for last night's game at Derby.

He's been with the Clarets since the summer of 2005 and for most of that time has hardly been the most popular of players with the Turf Moor fans. He started last season in the first team but he lost his place in the side after the bad start and was never really a regular starter again.

In March of last year he moved to Brighton on loan and many thought he would sign for the Sussex club on a permanent basis, and that became more likely when he was placed on the transfer list at Burnley. He didn't move and he started the season on the list, and out of the side, but that all changed in three days in September.

Always targeted by the fans, he was booed when he came on as a substitute against Colchester, but although we lost the game he was voted man of the match. Named sub again three days later against Barnsley he came on when we were 2-0 down and got a hat trick as we turned it round and won 4-2.

That saw him win a regular place, and come off the list, and all of a sudden he was Mr Popular in the stands. But a lack of goals, a loss of form across the team, and that short lived popularity began to fade although with Andy Gray injured he kept his place in the side. The recent signing of Ade Akinbiyi has meant he's no longer an automatic choice, and with his contract coming to an end in the summer, bringing with it an almost certain departure, he's taken the opportunity to try his luck in Spain with Segunda outfit Real Murcia.

The deal will go through today and Steve Cotterill said as he confirmed it: “Gifton will be joining Real Murcia on Wednesday and he goes with our best wishes. He has been good for us of late, but he was coming towards the end of his contract and will hopefully be signing for them tomorrow on a £50,000 deal.”

It might not have worked out just as he would have wanted it to do when he first joined the Clarets, but I'm sure we'll all want to remember that good spell this season, and in particular the night against Barnsley.