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09th Aug 2017

People reckon Burnley took a dig at Andre Gray in transfer departure statement

Did you notice it?

Robert Redmond

Andre Gray has left Burnley.

Gray has joined Watford for a club record fee, believed to be in the region of £18.5m, and has signed a five year contract with the Premier League side.

The 26-year-old has become Marco Silva’s latest summer signing. Watford have already completed deals for Tom Cleverly, Will Hughes, Nathaniel Chalobah and Brazilian forward Richarlison this summer.

But, according to Paul Merson, they’re destined for the drop this season.

Gray had 12 months remaining on his contract with Burnley, and could have left on a free transfer next summer.

The striker joined the club from Brentford in 2015, and scored 33 goals in 78 games, helping them earn promotion from the Championship and secure their Premier League status last season.

Gray scored nine Premier League goals last season, one behind the club’s top scorer Sam Vokes. His departure leaves Sean Dyche short of options up front. Burnley claim in their statement on the transfer that they offered the player a new contract, but he wasn’t interested in extending his stay at Turf Moor.

The statement reads:

“Burnley Football Club can confirm the sale of striker Andre Gray to Watford for an undisclosed fee that ranks as one of the biggest in the club’s history. The Clarets gave Gray the chance to extend his stay at Turf Moor with the offer of a substantially improved new contract earlier this summer. However, the former England C international made it clear he would not be looking to renew a deal which had just 12 months still to run. Burnley therefore took the decision to accept an offer from Watford and move forward with their own plans going into the new Premier League season. Gray, 26, joined Burnley from Brentford in August, 2015 and finished as top scorer in his first season to help Sean Dyche’s side win the Championship title and seal an instant return to the top tier. The former Luton Town forward followed up his 23 goals in 2015/16 with 10 last season, including nine in the Premier League and a first top-flight hat-trick for the Clarets since 1975 when he scored three times in a New Year’s Eve win over Sunderland. Burnley Football Club thanks Andre for his contribution during his time at Turf Moor and wishes him well in the future.”

At first glance, it appears to be a standard statement released by a club when a player departs.

However, Burnley referred to Gray as a “former England C international, which isn’t exactly the most glamorous of accolades. The England C team consists of non-league players, and the striker played for the team during his time in non-league football with Luton Town between 2012 and 2014.

Many on social media thought Burnley were taking a dig at Gray.

Others tipped Burnley as relegation certainties following the transfer.