Manchester United & Burnley Tussle Over Fee For Richard Eckersley

Manchester United and Burnley look set to go to a tribunal regarding the size of the fee the Clarets should pay the Old Trafford giants for young defender Richard Eckersley, who signed for Owen Coyle's side in the summer.

Although the player was technically a free agent, he was also under the age of 23, meaning that his previous club are entitled to compensation under the Bosman ruling.

Canadian defender David Edgar, another summer signing for the Clarets, was in a similar situation, but the Lancashire club have agreed a deal for him with Newcastle United. However, their valuation of Eckersley differs considerably from that of United, who reportedly feel the player is worth £2 million.

Burnley feel that a more realistic valuation is £250,000, and it looks now as though the case will have to be resolved by a tribunal.

"There’s a reasonable chance it will go to a tribunal," Burnley chief executive Paul Fletcher told The Lancashire Telegraph.

"We’re not a million miles apart on a fee, but it is a sizeable distance. It’s all down to people’s opinions. Right the way through, everything we do at the football club we back our manager.

"He sees him as one figure, and Manchester United see him as another, and we’ve valued him as a lot less than they have. We just hope that, if it does go to a tribunal, that we get a fair judgement."

Eckersley was offered a new deal by United in the summer, but opted to move across Lancashire to Turf Moor, where he inked a four-year contract. He made his Clarets debut in the League Cup against Hartlepool last month, but the night ended disappointingly for the 20-year-old, who was sent off in a 2-1 win.

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