Burnley snap up Dane Richards

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EDDIE Howe hopes winger Dane Richards can help give Burnley a lift over the second half of the season.

The Clarets boss has moved to land the 28-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps winger on a pre-contract agreement.

The Jamaican international will join the club on a free transfer on January 1st, when the transfer window opens, following the conclusion of the current Major League Soccer season.

Richards is in his first season with Vancouver, having joined the Canadian outfit in July, scoring two goals in six league starts.

Previously, in five-and-a-half-years with the New York Red Bulls, the pacy winger made just short of 150 appearances, scoring 21 goals, while playing alongside the likes of Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez.

But Richards, who has more than 40 international caps to his name, has committed to a move to England and will link up with the Clarets on a permanent deal in the New Year.

Howe said: “We are delighted to have signed Dane, who is a player we have been tracking for a while.

“I watched him at New York, where he played for a number of years, and he is someone who has all the attributes we are looking for to add to our squad.

“He is quick and direct, has a real turn of pace and I think he will be joining us at a good time in January, hopefully to give us a push in the second half of the season.

“He has good international experience, he is a good age and we’re looking forward to adding him to the squad.”

Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie added: “Dane is in the final year of his MLS contract, so we knew there was a strong possibility he might get offers from Europe for next season.

“Dane will continue to be an important member of our squad as we push for a play-off spot, and we look forward to his contributions throughout the rest of the season before he starts his new opportunity with Burnley FC.”

Dane himself said: “Burnley Football Club presented a good opportunity for me to play in Europe for the first time in my career.

“At the same time, I’m really enjoying my time with Whitecaps FC and will continue to work hard to contribute to the team’s success as we move towards the post-season.”

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