Bristol City have already made Antoine Semenyo transfer stance clear amid Burnley links

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The World Cup striker is subject of interest and speculation - but what is Bristol City’s stance?

Antoine Semenyo continues to be linked with a move away from Bristol City in the January transfer window.

The winter window is only 12 days old, but already there has been a vast amount of speculation about one of the Robins’ key players. Semenyo has has a whirlwind 18 months, with a career best season, which made him the second most creative player at the club.

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His form for City, with 21 goal contributions for the entirety of 2022, had him second to Andi Weimann, who had a stellar campaign. Semenyo’s form earned him a Ghana call-up, and he was involved in Qatar for the Black Stars.

Semenyo’s appearances at the World Cup have allowed the world to know who he is, and there is interest both in the United Kingdom and abroad, but it is in England where the interest is at its strongest.

Earlier this week it was reported that Championship rivals Burnley had made an enquiry for the 22-year-old. The Daily Mail claimed that Semenyo was valued at £12m, after his stay at the club was extended by a year after they activated a clause in his contract.

The Clarets aren’t the only club interested, with Turkish giants Fenerbahce said to have put him on a three-man shortlist. Reports from Ghana said that a bid had been submitted from Bournemouth but that was wide of the mark, as they have cooled their interest, as have Crystal Palace.

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What has Nigel Pearson said about any potential Semenyo sale?

Speaking in his pre-match press conference last week, the Robins boss admitted there had been speculation, but that it had just been that with no bids lodged.

He said: “There are a lot of stories out there and a lot of speculation and without adding fuel to speculation we are aware there is at the moment quite a bit of interest in some of our younger players. As it stands at the minute we have not received anything for them."

“If we get offers that the club feel are reasonable, acceptable and they help the longer term then the club will accept it. We want to keep our best players but we don’t want players who aren’t keen on staying here either.

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There is a counter argument with this and what is important for the players is that there is interest or possible interest from other clubs, while they are here they are playing for us they have an obligation to be at their best for us and that is difficult for youngsters.”

What has owner Steve Lansdown said?

This is the most telling quote when it comes to interest from Burnley, and it’s from the man who will have a considerable say in any potential. Lansdown is the main benefactor at the club, has been for some time. He has overseen numerous managers and countless players, with the club for several years selling their best players for a reasonable fee.

In August last year, just two games into the new season, he spoke about the potential sales of some of their prized assets; Alex Scott and Semenyo.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, he said: “The first thing you have to have is an offer for them which we haven’t got. How do we retain them?

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"They’re under contract. Antoine’s got two years, Alex has got three and we don’t need to sell them and we don’t want to sell them. So like all these things you have to make offers to make you change your mind because that money can be reinvested to bolster the rest of the squad.

"Why would Alex or Antoine want to go to someone else in the Championship,” he added.

“They have fantastic facilities here, it’s a great club to be a part of, great team-mates and a progression that they can see in their own careers but when a Premier League club comes in for them that’s when it’s difficult to turn down and I wouldn’t stand in their way."

Lansdown’s comments signal that City could possibly only entertain a departure to a Premier League team. Burnley and City are divisional rivals but are at two different ends of the table, with the Clarets fighting for promotion and City near the bottom of the table.

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Burnley do have the luxury of parachute payments after their relegation and sold several players which has made money available to Vincent Kompany. The Lancashire clubs place in the top-flight next season is far from guaranteed however and a move to Turf Moor could be unlikely given City’s previous position.

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