Bart: Burnley Move Was Really Close
Wednesday, 4th Oct 2017 10:08
Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski has revealed that he was “really close” to a move to Premier League Burnley during the summer but that the clubs were unable to agree a deal.
Bialkowski, speaking to Polish broadcaster TVP Sport, was asked whether it would be harder for him to make a move into the Premier League now he has turned 30, his birthday was in July, the Clarets having tried to sign him in the summer.
“It was really close but the clubs couldn't come to an agreement,” he responded. “On one hand I still dream about playing in the top division. On the other hand I have no regrets as I feel really good at Ipswich. Maybe we'll win promotion this year. It would be the best scenario of all.
“As for my age, I am planning on playing for a few more years still. I feel good and I hope to continue my career until I'm fit and healthy. I still love football and enjoy playing.”
TWTD previously reported Burnley’s interest in Bialkowski, Town’s Player of the Year for the last two seasons, while Wolves were also understood to have been keen early in the summer with the Blues believed to have put a £5 million price on their keeper’s head.
Bialkowski says Town sought to play down rumours of interest, which pleased him: "Yes, and I was happy about it. The fans respect me very much, my family loves Ipswich. My loved ones don't really want to move anywhere. If you're happy somewhere there's no point changing things just for the sake of it.”
The former Southampton and Notts County man is contracted to Town until the end of the season but with the club having an option for a further year. The 6ft 4in tall keeper said recently that he’d be open to extending that deal.
Braniewo-born Bialkowski, who has said before that his wife and children are very settled in Suffolk, dismissed the suggestion he would have to move on to progress further in his career.
“I am not looking at it this way,” he added. “There are still things to achieve for me with Ipswich and the most important thing now is hard work, every single day. This is my focus.”
Asked whether promotion is in Town’s reach, he said: “I hope so. We didn't make spectacular transfers but some of the lads we've got are the leading players in the league.
“We've played really well so far. We beat Sunderland 5-2 recently. This town misses Premier League football a lot. Ipswich used to play in the top division for quite a while and with some success. The current squad would like to be part of the club's successful history too.”
Meanwhile, Bialkowski says he’s heard nothing regarding a call-up to the Poland squad having won six caps at U20 level between 2005 and 2007.
“There's been no interest in me in the recent years,” he said. “And nobody from the national team staff has contacted me now either.
“Adam Nawalka [Poland head coach] has his hierarchy of goalkeepers, the same people have been receiving call-ups all the time and I am not going to force myself in, of course. There's a huge competition for the goalkeeper spot.”
He added: “I'm not bitter at all. It is still my dream to play for the national team but then again it's ‘only’ Championship.
“On the the other hand, Kamil Grosicki [Hull City] and Pawel Wszolek [QPR] play in the same league. The coach sees them as a part of the squad so it is possible to win a place in the national team from this level.”
Did he see things working out as they have on the international front a decade ago when he was with the U20s? “The time goes by but there's still no call-up. I've not won a single cap for the senior team.
“I used to be a different person back then, I made too many mistakes. There are few things I regret. I sat on the bench at Southampton for too long instead going somewhere where I'd play regularly. Now I am ready for the call-up, definitely.”
[Update] Bialkowski responded to a fan's tweet earlier this evening, clarifying that he had had no contact with Burnley.
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