CLARETS award winners Kieran Trippier and Jay Rodriguez are focused on their Turf Moor futures, despite growing speculation linking the duo with moves elsewhere.
Trippier, who is believed to have been on Newcastle United’s radar for the last 18 months, scooped the prestigious Player of the Year award at the club’s official awards ceremony on Sunday evening.
But, despite reported interest from Magpies boss Alan Pardew, who is said to be monitoring the full-back as the club await developments on a new contract for current right-back Danny Simpson, the 21-year-old revealed he expects to be back for pre-season, adding that he’s settled at Burnley.
“I’ve signed here for three years,” he said.
“It might be all rumours about Newcastle, because I’ve not heard anything.
“I’m a Burnley player, and I’m happy to be a Burnley player.
“As far as I know, I’ll be returning for pre-season and getting ready for next year in the Championship.
“I don’t even think about the speculation.
“If something happens it happens but I’m a Burnley player and I’ll be here next season.
“I was on loan last year at Barnsley as well, but I didn’t feel at home.
“And at Manchester City, I wasn’t treated like a first-team player, but I’m here now and I get treated as one of the first team. I love it, I’m settled and I’m delighted to be here.”
And 21-goal striker Rodriguez, rumoured to have a number of Premier League admirers, has a similar outlook to his team-mate.
The 22-year-old, who was recently honoured by his fellow professionals with an inclusion in the PFA Championship team of the season, claimed the Players’ Player of the Year award, the Golden Boot award, and the club’s goal of the season accolade for his sensational solo strike against Peterborough United in February.
He said: “I’m still a Burnley player, I’m still contracted and that’s what I look forward to.
“It’ll be nice to have a break and get myself fit again for next year. I don’t think anything of the speculation. You hear things but I don’t really listen to it.
“I’m still a Burnley player and I’m looking forward to working hard. We’ll just see what happens.”
“It’s been a great year, they’re good lads and it’s a pleasure to go in every day to work with them.
“The staff have been great as has everyone around the club.
“It’s a work in progress, we are all young, we’re all working hard, learning the game and I’m sure we’ll do fantastic next year.
“We weren’t far away this year.”
If inquiries were made for Jay Rodriguez the club would be looking for a sum of £8m. for its leading scorer.
At least five Premier League clubs are chasing him – Norwich, Newcastle, Fulham, Bolton and Southampton – and there’s added interest from Scottish Premier League side Celtic.
But the evening was all about celebrating the achievements of Eddie Howe’s side, especially the success of the club’s crown jewels.
Since joining on loan from Manchester City in the summer, making the move permanent in the New Year, Trippier has made 50 appearances, scoring five goals, and adding a notable number of assists.
The attack-minded defender, voted Barnsley’s Young Player of the Year last term, was clearly moved by the award, and it was deserved recognition for his phenomenal individual contribution to the campaign.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” beamed Trippier.
“I left Manchester City to come and play football and I came to Burnley, and I’ve played 50 games this season.
“It’s been a tough one between me and Jay Rod; he’s done brilliant this year and that shows with his goals record.
“I’m delighted to get it but Jay deserves credit too.
“I was Young Player of the Year at Barnsley.
“I played 37 games there and loved every minute, but I’m a Burnley player now and I’m very happy with this award.
“Everybody wants to win awards at the end of the year and I’m absolutely thrilled, speechless really.
“I thought Jay was going to get it because he’d stolen all the other awards.
“I think I deserved one. But it’s a team game, and I think every single player in that team deserved an award.”
Speaking after his awards haul, fans’ favourite Rodriguez said: “I’m really pleased with the awards.
“It’s a great honour to get players’ player of the year.
“It means a lot to me that the lads have chosen me.
“I’ve got to mention Tripps because he’s been amazing all year.
“He’s a great footballer and a great lad around the training ground.
“He’s a good friend and he deserves no less than his Player of the Year award.”
He added: “I’m really pleased with my season. I hit my target, which was to beat last year’s total, though I was disappointed to miss about eight games through injury, because I wanted to continue scoring. It’s been a great year and I’m really pleased.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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