Noel Whelan has tipped West Ham to complete the signing of Burnley defender James Tarkowski next summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Leeds United striker claimed Burnley will be forced to sell the England international if he does not sign a new contract.
Tarkowski will enter the final year of his deal next summer and he recently told the Telegraph he has no plans to commit his long-term future to the club.
Football Insider revealed during the summer the Hammers had place a series of bids for the 27-year-old but failed to match the Clarets’ £35million valuation.
However, Whelan believes Tarkowski’s latest admission has opened the door for West Ham to renew their interest next year.
He told Football Insider: “When you start getting players running down contracts to a year then you start getting worried as a football club.
“Burnley are a football club that really can’t afford to let a player of that quality go on a free transfer.
“I think that will force their hands, that’s a little signal to Burnley as well that if you can’t pay him the wages that he wants then him moving club is imminent. It’s as simple as that.
“You don’t really get too many football players coming out publicly and saying that.
“He’s obviously made his mind up that he wants out and you know he wants a fresh start and a fresh challenge somewhere and West Ham seem to be the leaders in that race.
“This could be final season for James Tarkowski because financially I’m not sure whether they can match what he wants.”
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