Clarets co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz has moved to silence speculation linking star striker Danny Ings with a move away from Turf Moor.
Noises from the South Coast were suggesting that managerless Southampton had made a formal approach to the club regarding the SkyBet Championship Player of the Year, but Banaszkiewicz insisted that no enquiries have been made.
The Saints, who snapped up Jay Rodriguez from Turf Moor two years ago, have played a prevalent role in the rumour mill surrounding the 22-year-old’s future, but the chairman believes that Kieran Trippier’s re-negotiated contract terms is a signal of the club’s ambition to retain its key assets.
“I haven’t had anything at all from them or received anything from Southampton,” he said. “We haven’t had any formal approach but regardless it’s in our interests to keep him because he’s been a great asset to the club. We’d like him to stay, he’s still contracted to us and we’d like to maintain that for next season.”
Banaszkiewicz added: “We absolutely want to keep our key players. We hope we’ll be using a lot of the team for next season. It’s all about team synergy to enhance our prospects. We do obviously need to build the squad ready for the Premier League as well.
“We want to keep our best players and that’s proven with Kieran Trippier. He’s one of the most sought after players at the club and we managed to get that over the line.”
Meanwhile, Banaszkiewicz has revealed that work is ongoing to tie key personnel down to the club ahead of the forthcoming Premier League campaign. That could also include boss Sean Dyche - linked tentatively with vacant posts at West Brom and St Mary’s - whose contract expires at the end of the season, “We’re in discussions at the moment,” he said. “Some already have contracts but it’s just a case of tweaking them. We’ve announced that Trippier is done which will hopefully act as a catalyst for other players. We’re on the case. We’re working with all those concerned to get them over the line.”
And on squad recruitments, Banaszkiewicz added: “We want to assure the fans that the management, the coaching team and the staff on the recruitment side are working around the clock to look for the right candidates. There is a holiday period and a lot of people away but we’re still focussed on landing the right players.
“In this world and in our business you can’t put a price on a commodity screen and click a button and it’s done. Buying a player is like a three stage process - it’s the player, the agent and the club and does he mould in to what we want.
“We’re being diligent, trying to be sensible and clever. We have targets but if we tell people about our strategy then it makes it transparent for others. It makes it more difficult for us. We are on top of it and following all leads and connections. We’re shopping around for the best players for this club.”