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Weekend reports in the Daily Mail have linked Burnley with a move for Middlesbrough left back George Friend, the latest of a number of players apparently interesting the Clarets.

This particular link is not be too much of a surprise given the lack of cover in this particular position. Loan player Jon Flanagan acted as cover last season and stood in for Stephen Ward when required although our Republic of Ireland international started all but the Crystal Palace home game.

With Danny Lafferty also having left the club for Sheffield United, a deal made permanent after an initial loan, we showed our hand regarding this position with a move for Hull’s Andrew Robertson in January although it seems as though he’s now destined for a move elsewhere.

Devon born Friend started his career with Exeter, making his debut in the 2005/06 season when they were in the Conference. During his time there he spent time out on loan at both Tiverton and Team Bath and finally made a Football League debut in August 2008 following Exeter’s promotion.

But a month later he was gone, signed by Mick McCarthy at Wolves although he failed to establish himself in two years at Molineux and spent most of his time out on loan at Millwall, Southend, Scunthorpe and back at Exeter.

His career took a more positive turn in the summer of 2010 when he signed for Doncaster. In two seasons there he became a regular and that led to his move to Middlesbrough five years ago where he’s gone on to play over 200 games for the Teesside club who have just been relegated from the Premier League after one season, a season which gave him his first taste of top flight football, playing 24 times.

Garry Monk has just taken over as manager at Middlesbrough and he wants to assess all his squad before considering any transfer movement in or out. If the reports are true, and there is an interest from Burnley, that could certainly delay things.

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