Clarets close to record breaking Defour deal
The chase has been on for midfield additions to the squad all summer, a chase that became more acute when Joey Barton decided on a move to Rangers, and that chase finally looks close to landing Belgian international Steven Defour from RSC Anderlecht.
Things can happen quickly. On the first of this month there had been no mention of a potential move for Defour when a thread was started on the message board by the appropriately named Belgianclaret. “Available for Euro 7 million apparently and is seeking to leave Anderlecht,” he posted, and that brought a flurry of replies. “Yes please this lad is class,” wrote gandhisflipflop with Jambounchained posting: “In a heartbeat….. would never happen though.”
Southampton were the English club supposedly in the running but two days later he was linked to us on a Belgian website. “Not sure of our chances on this one, but he’d sure be a mighty good fit for us”, was the response from Belgianclaret.
From there the story and speculation did seem to ebb and flow but I did see one comment from one poster, one I thought might be in the know, that made me think there could be some interest. Even so, I dismissed it and despite the link not going away it did seem that he was on his way to Abu Dhabi to play for Al Jazira.
They weren’t, according to stories, prepared to pay Anderlecht as much as us, but were prepared to offer him a bigger wage and so it looked as though our chances were slim. Even as recently as yesterday morning it looked very likely that was his destination.
Then, suddenly, the news broke in the early evening yesterday that the two clubs had agreed a fee for the player, believed to be €8.5 million. When RSC Anderlecht confirmed things via a couple of tweets which claimed the two clubs had reached a definitive agreement whilst also wishing Defour the best of luck, it seemed that we’d got our man, and when he suddenly starting following Burnley’s Twitter account, it just about let everyone know he was Burnley bound on what seems to be a four year contract.
That prompted the ‘Steven Defour’ thread on the message board to literally take off. One of the early comments, from jedi_master, just simply read: “I am stunned”, and he quickly added: “Amazing how one signing of that quality can put a totally different slant on the entire summer.” And walton’s thoughts were: “This could be the signing which keeps us up. Comfortably.”
Maybe we should have all been clever enough to put two and two together. Firstly, it was reported that Sean Dyche had watched him play last weekend in Anderlecht’s 5-1 win against KV Kortrijk, and during the week he made reference to us being ready to break our transfer record, and not the £37 million for Gray record he jokes about. Someone on the message board reminded us that the last time Dyche had made a similar comment we were on the brink of signing Gray.
The deal is not done yet. Burnley have very definitely not, as yet, signed Steven Defour, but it does look as though it is no more than just a matter of time. He’s set to undergo a medical on Monday before putting pen to paper on a four year deal and surely, after that, he will become the second Belgian in just over a year to become a Claret, and one likely to be around Burnley for a lot longer than the last one Jelle Vossen.Follow UpTheClarets:
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