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James Tarkowski: West Ham face fierce transfer battle to sign Burnley defender

David Sullivan must sanction a January swoop for Burnley defender James Tarkowski amid renewed links to West Ham United.

What’s the word?

According to Eurosport, Premier League interest in Tarkowski is beginning to grow ahead of the mid-season window as the 28-year-old continues to overlook a new contract at Turf Moor.

Tarkowski has entered into the final 18-months of his current £50,000-per-week deal, but he is yet to put pen to paper, saying that the terms presented thus far have been “nowhere near what I was going to sign”.

Should West Ham rival for Tarkowski in January?

Yes, he'd be perfect

Yes, he'd be perfect

No, he isn't good enough

No, he isn't good enough

Recent discussions between Tarkowski and the Clarets have moved the two parties closer to reaching an agreement as they strive to secure continuity to protect the club’s Premier League stability amid a potential takeover of the Lancashire outfit.

But West Ham, who saw a £30m offer turned down in the summer, and Leicester City, who also bid £30m, are now said to be joined by growing top-flight interest in the star centre-back who Burnley valued at £50m ahead of the current season.

Manchester United were understood to have also assessed the merits of a move for Tarkowski, who Irons legend Frank McAvennie believed would have been “perfect” for his former side in the summer.

Tarkowski ultimately remained at Turf Moor and has started all 11 of his Premier League outings, helping Sean Dyche’s side to keep five clean sheets as they battle to avoid relegation.

Winter rescue

West Ham will head into Christmas sat middle of the pack having held one of the top-flight’s better defensive records thus far, with Moyes’ men allowing the same number of goals (19) over 14 games as title-holders Liverpool and European chasers Everton.

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Moyes has rarely sought to make changes to his backline with Angelo Ogbonna starting all of the Hammers’ Premier League fixtures to date, while Fabian Balbuena has missed just one of his side’s last 12 through a groin injury.

Issa Diop returned to the XI to replace Balbuena, yet he has seemingly lost Moyes’ full support with the 23-year-old returning to the bench at Chelsea, where he had watched the action for all bar 27 minutes since testing positive for coronavirus in September before facing Crystal Palace.

Moyes seemingly has a lack of belief in Craig Dawson too, who is yet to make his West Ham debut, but any concerns over a lack of depth can be removed entirely with a winter raid on Burnley for Tarkowski, who the former Man United boss would adore.

The 6ft brute is registering 2.1 successful tackles per Premier League appearance this term – only Vladimir Coufal (3.0) is winning more at the London Stadium – while penning 1.2 interceptions, 4.4 clearances and winning a mammoth 7.2 duels, with success in 70% of his aerial contests, per SofaScore.

Tarkowski is only dribbled past 0.4 times a game, too, while offering a threat in the opponent’s box with 1.8 shots and 0.4 key balls, allowing for West Ham to improve their already-stellar record for scoring from set-pieces with only Chelsea, Southampton and Everton netting more often.

AND in other news, West Ham are monitoring a £20k-p/w talent to resolve David Moyes’ “big” blow.

Article title: James Tarkowski: West Ham face fierce transfer battle to sign Burnley defender

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