CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is closing in on long-time target Sam Vokes.
Howe had hoped to add to his four summer signings before setting off on Sunday for the week-long training camp in Bath.
But Howe is hopeful of landing the Wolves and Wales frontman before Burnley take on Bath City at Twerton Park tonight – although Vokes would be unlikely to feature should he complete the switch.
It was revealed Vokes would be allowed to leave Molineux last week, despite travelling to Ireland as part of new boss Stale Solbakken’s 26-man squad.
However, as one of 11 professional strikers on Wolves’ books following the £2.4m arrival of Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Vokes was put up for sale, with Burnley and Brighton leading the chase.
The 22-year-old spent time on loan last season with both clubs, scoring twice in nine games for the Clarets, before notching three in 14 appearances for the Seagulls.
And he is well known to Howe, making his professional debut in the same Bournemouth side, while progressing in the reserves under his tutelage.
Wolves are expected to command in the region of £500,000 for Vokes, and Howe, while reticent to name his target, said yesterday: “We’re not far away from bringing in a fourth striker.
“We’ll probably know more today (Tuesday).”
Howe is eager to bolster his pool of forwards after the club record departure of Jay Rodriguez, with Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Martin Paterson his frontline strikers.
Meanwhile, Howe will not be persuing his interest in Bradford Park Avenue midfielder Jordan Deacey, despite claims to the contrary from his boss – and father – John.
Doncaster chief Dean Saunders had asked about his availability after a recent friendly, but John Deacey said: “Dean asked about Jordan after the game.
“I told him he could speak to the lad or offer him a trial, but that he was probably going to Burnley.
“I’m not surprised he asked because I thought Jordan was awesome in the game.
“He outshone their lad in central midfield – and he was their club captain.
“There were a couple of clubs watching Jordan last season, and he has been here and there playing and training over the summer, but I think he will be going to Burnley.
“They are the club who have first call and it looks like he will be there. But one way or another, it looks like he will be going and that will be a big loss to Park Avenue.
“He has done really well for us but we are a club who will help players move to play at a higher level. We won’t stand in anybody’s way.”
Howe will also be looking elsewhere after running the rule over Portuguese pair Bernardo Lopes and David Viana in a development squad game last week.
There will be no other trialists in Bath with the squad this week as Howe looks to bond the squad together - with the injured Marvin Bartley travelling, as well as young midfielder Steve Hewitt.
Howe said: “It’s an important week for us, the facilities are really good in Bath, and we’ll look to get some good training in, two competitive games, and bring all the new players into the group to get to know everyone better.”
Howe has been delighted with the way his players have responded so far, and his new recruits mean there will be severe competition for places.
He said: “It is going to be a tough decision. We’re much improved to what we had last year.
“We look strong, well organised, we’ve got some good talkers in there now and a good balance so I’m pleased with how the defence is shaping up.
“I thought Joseph Mills was excellent at Bury and we saw an attacking threat from him, similar to Tripps.
“He put some great balls in as well. It’s good to have full-backs who can do that side of the game but also defend as well. We need to keep them going.
“I don’t think we were always as solid or compact as we could have been last season. We knew it was an area we really needed to look at. We’ve done the work in that area so hopefully the benefit will show come the season. You’re always a work in progress in that respect, we’ve still got work to do on the training ground to make sure we’re as good as we can be.”