Burnley are close to completing a deal to sign Daniel Ballard from Arsenal on a permanent transfer, according to James McNicholas of The Athletic.
The 22-year-old centre-back has had loan spells with Swindon Town, Blackpool and Millwall, but even though his quality has sufficed to earn him 15 senior caps with Northern Ireland, he has never played for the first team at Arsenal.
The move to Burnley obviously seems like a fine choice from the youngster’s perspective at this point, with the Clarets’ reputation for turning out powerful central defenders in mind, but also the fact that they’ve just appointed one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League over the last decade in former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany as their manager.
There’s hardly anyone better for Ballard to learn from to than a man who won four Premier League titles playing in his position, and given his excellent performances on previous loans, it’s hardly surprising that Burnley were not the only club interested in his talents. With former captain Ben Mee and his long-time partner in defence James Tarkowski gone, Kompany is truly in need of such a player at Turf Moor.
The negotiations between them and Arsenal are in their final stage and the medical ahead of the proposed transfer is already scheduled. The Gunners are keen to insert a clause into the deal that would enable them to match any bids for Ballard’s services should Burnley decide to sell him in the future, which also goes to show that he is rated highly at the Emirates.
Meanwhile, manager Mikel Arteta is also keen to strengthen his ranks as the club considers the possibility of allowing Nuno Tavares to go out on loan. Lisandro Martinez of Ajax is believed to be the primary target on that front.