urnley have rejected two six-figure bids from Championship rivals Leeds United for Richard Chaplow. Who? More later. Lancashire papers are reporting that an initial £250,000 offer for the England U21 midfielder was instantly dismissed. Perhaps they've heard we've sold Milner?
Leeds United, who have last season's Clarets' assistant manager Sam Ellis working for Kevin Blackwell, have confirmed making a second, improved bid believed to be over £500,000.
However, Burnley seem determined (don't they all?) to resist attempts to prise the 19-year-old away from Turf Moor, where he enjoyed an excellent campaign last season. They were even trying to persuade the Accrington-born midfield star to sign a new long term deal, despite having two years remaining on a current deal signed only last year. Sadly for Burnley 'persuade' and 'persuaded' are different tenses and mean a world of difference in football. As we have learnt with Milner, money speaks as does, in this case, the lure of playing for a much bigger club.
Sam Ellis, now assistant manager at Leeds United, confirmed: "Yes, we have made a bid for Richard, but that is as much as we are saying. We do our business in private and try to be discreet as we can. We don't like going public on these things."
Richard 'Chappy' Chaplow's rise in stature is phenomenal considering he was not even a first team regular at Turf Moor just twelve months ago. But after forcing his way into the Burnley first team he became a lynchpin of former manager Stan Ternent's midfield.
After the loss of Milner the Leeds Board will need to splash out to assuage the anger of the fans and even more importantly convince the new Leeds manager that they are prepared to invest in the team not just harvest the profits at the first opportunity from any kid that does well in the reserves. It is annoying from Burnley's point of view but they would do well to note the player's wishes in the current climate. Port Vale ignored McPhee's wishes and Leeds' bid and they ended up with nothing but egg on Chairman Bratt's face. £75,000 in the bank would have been better. A half-a-million bid from Leeds is a serious matter and represents the first major purchase attempt since the joke signing of Nicky Barmby by Cockney Tel two years ago.