KEITH Treacy winged in to Turf Moor yesterday to become Burnley’s first permanent signing of the summer.
And there could be more to come as Eddie Howe strengthens his squad ahead of Saturday’s opening game at home to Watford.
Republic of Ireland wideman Treacy, 22, was due to complete the formalities of his move from neighbours Preston North End yesterday afternoon, after the Clarets brought a summer-long chase for the former Blackburn Rovers man to a close.
Burnley had three bids for Treacy turned down before finally succeeding with a fourth, and he was expected to put pen to paper on a three-year contract after his medical.
The Clarets had been the only club in the Championship not to make a permanent signing in the close season, with the two arrivals, Ben Mee and Kieran Trippier, both signing on season-long loans from Manchester City.
Howe, as we revealed two months ago, is a long-time admirer of Treacy, and had been chasing another wide player, predominantly left-sided, even before losing Chris Eagles to Bolton last week.
Treacy himself had been in the dark about the move, even turning up for Preston’s friendly with Wigan on Sunday, only to be turned away.
Preston chairman Maurice Lindsay explained that the deal was necessary to help balance the books, with owner Trevor Hemmings looking to reduce his backing.
Lindsay said: “We made the manager aware of the need to reduce the cash injection from Mr Hemmings, from £7m last season to £3m this season.
“The club is heading for another financial loss this year, because coming out of the Championship means we lose £4.5m of league and television funding.
“The only way the club can stay in business is by Mr Hemmings putting in further monies, but he is adamant that this will be limited to £3m.”
Lindsay added: “It clearly leaves us with an inability to refuse offers of this kind for Keith.”
North End striker Iain Hume feels Burnley are signing a real match-winner, as he expressed his frustration at the sale.
He said: “Keith is a top player – he could win 15 points this season on his own.
“He is going to be a big miss, if and when he goes.
“At times, he dazzled the Championship last season – when Keith wanted to play, no one could handle him.
“He had a little break because he had played international football, and after coming back looked in good condition and raring to go.”