Scottish International is latest to be linked

Last updated : 11 January 2002 By Tony Scholes

It's not as though all the rumours are without foundation though and since Keegan took over at Maine Road both Gareth Taylor and Tony Grant have made permanent moves to Turf Moor.

With the current injury problems highlighting our lack of numbers up front it is no surprise that this time it is a striker. We have been linked with Shaun Goater in the past but I wouldn't have thought we had anything like the sort of money that would persuade Keegan to part with him.

This time it is 29 year-old Scottish international striker Paul Dickov who can no longer win a place in the City side. The 5'5" striker joined City from Arsenal in August 1996 for £1 million but has never really established himself in the side and to date has started just 108 league games for City with another 49 substitute appearances. In those 157 games he has scored just 35 goals.

He has appeared in just six First Division games this season, the last of which was at the end of October, and all have been as a substitute. He as scored a goal in the Worthington Cup at Notts County but his last league goal came in a 5-0 home win against Everton in December 2000 when again he was a sub.

Dickov is out of contract at the end of the season and will be available to negotiate a new deal away from Maine Road on a Bosman. It is unlikely that he would give up that opportunity or that the Clarets would be willing to pay a fee for a player so close to the end of his contract. But that wouldn't rule out a loan deal as the Clarets look to give the squad a boost.