Burnley ‘expect Ben Mee to leave on a free transfer this summer’ with James Tarkowski set to follow as relegated club prepare for defensive exodus
- Burnley were relegated on the final day of the Premier League season at home
- Ben Mee is out of contract and will depart the club on a free transfer
- Mee’s long time defensive partner James Tarkowski will also leave Burnley
- Tarkowski is said to have been intent on running his contract down before this season
Ben Mee is set to depart Burnley this summer on a free transfer after more than 10 years at the club.
The Burnley captain was reported to have been stalling on a new deal throughout the year, choosing instead to wait until the end of the season to see what Burnley’s immediate future held.
Following their relegation to the Championship on the final day, The Athletic have reported that Mee will likely leave the club with the centre-back said to have a host of options in the Premier League.
Ben Mee (R) and James Tarkowski (C) are both expected to depart the club this summer
Mee’s insistence that he wanted to help the club on the pitch before deciding what to do over his contract was cut short when he was injured against Leicester back in March.
Sadly for a player who had come to be a real hero at Burnley, that appears to have been his last on-field action for the club.
Interestingly, he joined the coaching staff under Mike Jackson and reportedly performed well in his role there. However, only being 32-years-old, Mee is not quite ready for a move into coaching and will seek out another opportunity in the top division.
They have formed a strong defensive partnership in the Premier League since Michael Keane’s departure to Everton
Meanwhile, his long-term defensive partner James Tarkowski will, as expected, also depart the club.
Reports suggest that Tarkowski had been intent on departing the Lancashire outfit for some time, choosing to run his contract down so as to be able to decide his own destiny.
Tarkowski is said to have not given up on getting back into Gareth Southgate’s England squad and appears to believe going to a club with European ambition gives him the best shot at achieving that.
Tarkowski (C) is believed to want to join a club with European ambitions having seen previous offers for him rejected by Burnley
The Athletic say that significant offers in the past were rejected from Leicester and West Ham, which led to Tarkowski viewing running his contract down as offering him the best chance of achieving that.
Burnley’s decision to reject those offers could prove costly, with the club said to now be in a precarious financial situation upon their relegation to the Championship owing to the way debt was leveraged on the club following the ALK Capital takeover.
It was reported in February that the takeover had left the club ‘£90m worse off’ and saddled with debt.
Interest in Tarkowski from Premier League clubs is no short supply. It is said that Everton and Aston Villa, both looking to bolster their squads and improve on poor 2021/22 seasons under Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, respectively, are the leading contenders to acquire his services.
Other clubs interested include Leeds and Leicester.
Burnley are now facing an uncertain future back in the Championship with the club in debt