Dyche reluctant to let Villa target Hart go

Burnley
Burnley boss Sean Dyche may allow former England keeper Joe Hart leave the club with Sheffield United said to be keen.

Sean Dyche has indicated that Burnley will not allow goalkeeper Joe Hart to leave during the January transfer window amid reported interest from Aston Villa.

There has been speculation that Villa could move for Hart following the season-ending injury suffered by Tom Heaton in their victory at Turf Moor on Wednesday. Heaton left Burnley for Villa in the summer but Dyche said it was “highly unlikely” that any of his senior players will be departing this month.

Hart is a clear number two to Nick Pope and made just his second appearance since December 2018 in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Peterborough in the third round of the FA Cup.

Dyche praised Hart’s performance and, asked if the 32-year-old is frustrated, said: “He seems all right to me. He performed like he wasn’t frustrated today, he performed with a clear-mindedness. Very good pro, he’s good around the group.”

Dyche made eight changes, giving fringe players a chance and freshening up his line-up after three Premier League defeats in a row.

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He was rewarded with a flying start, with Burnley going 3-0 up inside 25 minutes through Jay Rodriguez, Erik Pieters and Jeff Hendrick. Ivan Toney exploited a mistake from Matt Lowton to score his 17th goal of the season before half-time but Rodriguez’s second effectively killed the contest, although young substitute Ricky-Jade Jones did grab a second for Posh.

“It was a good performance, very professional performance,” added Dyche. “We spoke in the week about the mentality going into this game and I thought it was on show, and some very good performances in a tricky tie.

“And it was a very confident performance, which I was pleased about, because obviously we’ve had a couple of tough results lately. There’s a difference in level, we know that, but what it does is it makes sure players are sharp.”

The negative was another hamstring injury for Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who was forced off at half-time. The Icelander was making his first start since suffering a bad hamstring strain in October.

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