The Englishman has been a key part of Burnley’s development under Sean Dyche, but so far has rejected all talk of a new deal. With his contract running down at a rapid pace, he has just 18 months left on a deal that he believes should be larger. With Burnley unable or unwilling to match terms, then, the 28-year-old could be on the move. And with Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans likely moving at the end of the season, this could see Tarkowski come in as his long-term replacement.
A solid and proven Premier League defender, he would bring a level of steel to the backline for Leicester that can sometimes be missing. An out and out ball-winner, too, he would offer Leicester a different kind of defender compared to the more ball-friendly options that they play with today. A move is likely to happen at the end of the season, when the defender will be down to his last 12 months of his deal.
Why is James Tarkowski looking to leave Burnley?
Having made his name with the Clarets, many expected Tarkowski to stick around. However, three reasons appear to exist for the need to move on; the desire to land a larger, more lucrative contract; the desire to play in European football; and the chance to cement his chance at becoming a regular England international.
Shown to be among the most useful options in the domestic game for a central defender, Tarkowski would offer any club with the ambition to play in Europe an extra solid solution. However, with bids as large as £30m rejected in the summer of 2020, it is likely that Burnley will need to accept a fair bit less on the next summer move.
However, a refusal to sell him would mean losing a key player for nothing. With new ownership at Burnley, it might be deemed better to sell on and buy in a replacement than simply hold on and hope for the best. From the outside, it appears clear that Tarkowski has no intention of sticking around in Burnley; a move to the Midlands, then, appears to be the most likely option for him.
A key part of why Burnley have confounded expectation for years, Tarkowski looks likely to keep on growing and developing as a player in the years to come until he reaches his peak. Will that peak be in the blue of Leicester City, then?