By Ian Palmer
Manchester United has sold defender Michael Keane to fellow English Premier League club Burnley FC for a reported transfer fee of three million pounds. The 21-year-old centre-back was originally loaned to Burnley from September until January, but the deal has now been made permanent. Burnley manager Sean Dyche has been impressed with the youngster’s play and Keane has played him in 10 league games so far in the 2014/15 season with eight of them being starts.
Keane, who plays internationally with the England Under-21 team, has agreed to terms on a 3.5-year contract with Burnley. Dyche said he’s happy to have worked out a deal with Man United and believes Keane will steadily improve and should one day suit up for England’s senior national squad. The manager added that Keane has already shown improvement over the past few months and he will help the team try to dig itself out of the relegation zone for the rest of the campaign.
Keane found it hard to break into the starting lineup at Old Trafford under manager Louis van Gaal and appeared in just five games for the senior team. United previously sent him out on loan to Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, and Derby County before he was sent to Burnley. Keane was born in Stockport, England, but represented the Republic of Ireland at the Under-17 level. He then switched his allegiance to England starting with the Under-19 side.
The defender was named the player of the year for Manchester United’s Reserve Team in 2012 and his twin brother Will is still at Man United. Keane spent his youth career with Manchester between 2009 and 2011 and then turned pro with the club, making his debut in 2011. He had played a total of 64 club games in all competitions when he signed with Burnley and has six goals to his name. He’s also scored three times in 17 appearances with the England Under-21 team.
At the time of the move Burnley was sitting in 19th place in the 20-team Premier League after 20 games. They had just 17 points from three wins, eight draws and nine losses and had scored 17 goals while allowing 32 against. As for Man United, they were sitting in third place with 37 points from 10 wins, seven draws and three losses. They were nine points behind leaders Chelsea and Manchester City and were listed by bet365 as being 8/13 to win the league.