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We have three games still to play this season and not only is our Premier League place secure, we are still chasing a European place that is more than well within our grasp.

Three games to play, and then it’s the close season which for us, as supporters, means awaiting the fixtures, and then complaining that they are taking too long to determine which games will be televised. This summer it will also means, we hope, that we are ready for the Europa League draws.

1718 burnley scott arfield 00 500x500There’s a World Cup to distract us but then there is also the key thing that keeps us all occupied during the summer, namely the transfer window, and a shortened one this year.

It starts with speculation. Players become the favourites to join us and then fade away, quite often signing new contracts with their existing clubs. But it doesn’t stop the speculation and even with games to go this season, it’s already started.

Leeds United’s Swedish international defender Pontus Jansson is constantly being linked with a move to Turf Moor but the more intriguing news this week is of a potential return for Jay Rodriguez. Would that be good news? The Burnley supporters at The Hawthorns recently certainly made their views known with Jay Rod getting positive support from the visiting fans all afternoon.

He’s had a difficult first season at West Brom given the team’s performance that will seem them relegated sooner rather than later, but they will be in no rush to see him go. Birmingham Mail reporter Joseph Chapman wrote yesterday about him.

He said: “Goals against Accrington and Stoke set Rodriguez on his way, but from there he suffered a dry spell for the remainder of Tony Pulis’ time at the club.

“His dramatic equaliser from the spot against Arsenal on New Year’s Eve sparked form that has continued to the present, he’s eight in his last 18 appearances. The recent performance at Old Trafford, where Rodriguez eventually scored the winner, was one of his best performances in a striped shirt.

“One of the more positive effects Alan Pardew had on the squad was finding the role Rodriguez appears to be flourishing in, just in behind target man Salomon Rondon.”

On the current speculation linking Jay with a return to Burnley, he added: “Perhaps predictably, Burnley have been named as a potential suitor for Rodriguez this summer. It might appear to be an easy link to put together, but the reality is Rodriguez, as a character and a footballer, reflects everything that Clarets boss Sean Dyche values.

“He was a boyhood fan of the club, scored 41 times in 128 appearances in his previous spell at Turf Moor and was the subject of interest from them last summer, before Albion nabbed him. Not only are Burnley in a position to offer guaranteed Premier League football, but they’ve a potential European campaign on the horizon. That automatically suggests Dyche will look to bulk up his modest existing squad.

1718 burnley dean marney 00 500x500“As mentioned previously, though, Albion aren’t going to be in a rush to sell, nor are they under any pressure to. Rodriguez still has three years left on his contract at The Hawthorns and the Baggies are in a strong negotiating position.”

It’s six years since Jay Rod left us for Southampton. He spent five years there, which included a long time out through a cruciate ligament injury that cost him a potential place at the 2014 World Cup. He clearly remains popular with the Burnley fans, he clearly remains a very good player at Premier League level. Who knows?

More intriguing has been the news over the past few days regarding two of our out of contract players. These are no ordinary players coming to the end of deals. They are Dean Marney and Scott Arfield, two players who have made major contributions to our success in recent years.

Footballers come and footballers go, but there will be a real sadness on the day these two players leave us. Marney is in his eighth season at Turf Moor, and like Jay Rod, has had his injury problems, two cruciate ligament injuries in his case. He hasn’t played a first team game since January last year when he was stretchered off at Arsenal.

Over the weekend a picture was circulating on social media of him and Aitor Karanka. There had already been much speculation of a move to Nottingham Forest for him and, as is always the case, people have put two and two together and got him on his way to the City Ground.

Arfield, who arrived at Burnley from Huddersfield in the summer of 2013, might have opted to play international football for Canada, but it is looking increasingly likely that he could return to Scotland this summer with reports suggesting he’s close to signing a pre-contract agreement with Rangers. Currently out injured, he last played at Swansea a couple of months ago.

There will be players coming in. Jansson and Jay Rod could be among them. Players will also be leaving. Inevitably, Marney and Arfield are the most likely candidates. We’ll see, but if these players do leave they shouldn’t be allowed to leave quietly given their superb contributions during their time with the Clarets.

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