Clarets defender Michael Keane has assured fans that he won’t be going anywhere in the January transfer window, amid speculation that a host of Premier League clubs are pursuing the former England Under 21 international.
The former Manchester United trainee, who made five appearances during his stay at Old Trafford, has been linked with up to six clubs in the top flight already, including Everton, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Norwich City, Stoke City and Swansea City.
The 22-year-old, brought to Turf Moor by Burnley boss Sean Dyche in September 2014 after seeing his opportunities limited under Louis Van Gaal, hasn’t missed a minute of the campaign to date, and has contributed to nine clean sheets in the Championship.
“It’s not distracting,” he said. “Obviously I see it but I don’t know whether to believe it or not. It’s just one of those things.
“If it’s true then it can be very flattering, but I’m really happy here at Burnley and I won’t be going anywhere in January.
“I want to try and get this club back to the Premier League like everybody else. Everyone in the team, the manager and the fans have been great with me, so there’s no reason for me to leave.”
He added: “You just take it as a compliment. It just proves that you’re playing well if there’s teams coming after you. I think I’m defending well consistently now.
“I think I’ve been doing well on a personal level for a while now, so I’m just hoping to keep it up. It’s just speculation - you don’t know whether to believe it or not - but it is nice to see.
“I think I’ve developed a lot here under the gaffer. I’ve had all the experienced players helping me as well.
“I’m hoping to keep that up and get back in to the Premier League and do it there as well.”
Keane has been particularly impressive this term, taking on the mantle of departed skipper Jason Shackell at the heart of the Clarets defence.
The one-time Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers loanee has netted three times this season and has been an integral component among the division’s sixth most miserly rearguard.
After the Clarets baptised 2016 with a goalless draw against Ipswich Town on home soil, Keane said: “I thought we defended well. We went in to the game knowing what to expect.
“They can be quite brutal at times and the way they press makes it hard for us to play.
“I don’t think it was a great game for the fans to watch but it was one where we just had to try and grind a result out.
“We didn’t manage to score but at least we kept a clean sheet.
“I think it’s only going to get better as well. The way we play and our fitness levels will show until the end of the season. Hopefully we can get between 15 and 20 clean sheets.”
Keane added: “It’s been good, obviously Duffo has done really well too. It’s just unfortunate for him that when we changed it up we got a couple of clean sheets.
“Everyone who has come in to the team has done really well and put a good case forward to stay in the team. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.”
The result ensured that the Clarets hung on to fifth position in the Championship, leaving Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys a solitary point behind as they occupy the final play-off spot.
“We went in to the game looking to win, like we do in every game, but they’re a good defensive unit,” said Keane.
“They play four at the back and two who sit in so it was hard to create chances. We had a couple and didn’t take them but I thought our performance was good in general - we just needed to create a few more chances.
“It was a tough game, we knew it would be tough because they’re only a point behind us in the league.
“We’ve shown again that the team’s got a good mentality and in games like this you just have to dig in. We have a lot of players who can do that consistently.
“At least we managed to get a point out of it to prevent them from overtaking us. It’s another point gained.”