Arsenal are in talks with Burnley over a move for Daniel Ballard as their busy summer transfer shows no signs of slowing down ahead of the new campaign.
As reported by football.london in May, the defender is free to depart the Emirates Stadium on a permanent basis this summer following an impressive loan spell in the Championship with Millwall last season as, despite undergoing knee surgery in the winter, still managed to make 32 appearances across all competitions.
Now, despite the Gunners being happy with Ballard’s time in south London a decision has been made to allow him to leave if an appropriate offer is received as there are fears that his development could stall with Ben White, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and William Saliba all ahead of him in the pecking order.
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A return to the Den had been mooted with Lions manager Gary Rowett going on record that he’d love to sign Ballard permanently or on loan again: “Someone like Dan Ballard, I’ve said it before, we’d love to keep him at the club, whether that’s on loan or whether that’s permanently, “he admitted. “But he’s Arsenal’s player and I’m sure they’ve got a plan for him long-term that’s maybe not the exact one we would hope for.”
However, according to Lancashire Live, Burnley are leading the race for the 22-year-old as they look to strengthen in central defense following the departments of James Tarkowksi and Ben Mee. The report also states that following initial inquiries last week, talks are now at an advanced stage for those who have 10-capped Northern Ireland international.
If Ballard does end up making the move to Turf Moor he will be under the tutelage of former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany following his appointment as the club’s new permanent manager last week after Mike Jackson had been in the caretaker role following the departure of Sean Dyche in April.
Furthermore, the Gunners will be repaying Kompany for his Albert Sambi Lokonga tip as he recommended the ‘new Yaya Toure’ to Mikel Arteta after seeing the midfielder up close at Anderlecht for the first time and last summer the club completed a £ 17m transfer for the Belgian.
“The first thing I did when I saw Sambi is I went to Mikel and also Pep, but Mikel first and said,” You got to watch this guy, he’s the new Yaya Toure. Anyway, nothing comes off it, he’s got a cruciate ligament [injury]”Kompany revealed when speaking to Rio Ferdinand’s YouTube channel ‘FIVE’.
“Then I fall into the management job at Anderlecht, so I’m working with him. I had the same conversation with Mikel and I believe the same thing now. I’m not sure I’m doing him a favor saying this stuff, but look, you know what I like about Zambia, what Yaya did have, is, he wants the ball no matter what. “
So after tipping Arsenal for the signing of a player with world-class potential in Sambi Lokonga, the Gunners could be set to return the favor to Kompany by agreeing to sell him a defender that could help secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
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