James Tarkowski has revealed he turned down Burnley's recent contract offer because he wants more control over his playing career.
The Clarets rejected numerous approaches for the defender during the summer, with offers from both West Ham and Leicester falling short of his £50m buyout clause. Offers in the region of £32m were tabled but swiftly rejected by Sean Dyche's side, who currently sit 19th in the Premier League table.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Tarkowski expressed his dismay with his lack of control over a potential move away, but insisted finances have little to do with his desire for a new venture.
He said: “There is nothing I have heard or has been put to me that makes me think there is a scenario in which I would sign a new contract at Burnley. That can change, but currently that is the situation."
Regarding the failed approaches from West Ham and Leicester, Tarkowski stated: “We’ve had two transfer windows now where the club have decided, for whatever reason, that whatever has been offered on the table hasn’t been enough and that’s fine because I signed a contract for four-and-a-half years.
"So I won’t whinge or not turn up, I just need to deal with it and get on with my football.
“Burnley offered me a contract near the start of last season, which, for me personally, it was nowhere near what I was going to sign and I think the club understood. And they’ve come back again this year, and still, for me, it’s just not right."
Manager Sean Dyche has previously backed Tarkowski, stating the transfer speculation surrounding players in the modern game can be distracting. However, Tarkowski's refusal to sign a new contract has not been met with anger by Dyche, who has played the England international whenever he has been fit.
Tarkowski added: “Finances do matter, but, at this particular stage, whatever path I take I will get financially rewarded so the financial side is not even in my thinking at the moment. It’s more about my football.”
He has made over 130 appearances for Burnley, scoring five goals. He has been also capped twice for England, though he has not featured for Gareth Southgate's side since 2018.
Source : 90min