Defender leaves Griffin Park for Turf Moor.
James Tarkowski has signed for Burnley for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old central defender left Brentford and completed the switch to the Lancashire side today, Monday 1 February, after a fee was agreed yesterday. James has signed a three and a half year contract with The Clarets and ends his stay at Griffin Park after two years in West London.
James joined Brentford from Oldham Athletic for an undisclosed fee in January 2014. He soon established himself in the team and made 13 appearances as The Bees won promotion from Sky Bet League One in his first months at the Club. He continued to be a regular in the team last season, playing 38 games as Brentford finished fifth in the Sky Bet Championship and reached the Play-Offs. The defender played a further 23 games this term but has not featured since declaring himself unavailable for a match against Burnley last month and subsequently telling Brentford fans he wanted to move closer to his Lancashire home as his mother is unwell. James leaves Brentford having played 74 games for the Club in all competitions and scored four goals.
Dean Smith, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “It is disappointing to lose James. He is a very good player, everyone at the Club knows that. He had made his feelings clear that he wanted to be closer to his parents in the north. As a Football Club we were very sympathetic to that and we always said we would be happy to let James go as long as our valuation was met.
“Unfortunately we had the incident a couple of weeks ago where we had bids for James that were nowhere near our valuation. Our valuation has now been met. We are losing a good player but I would rather have players that are fully committed to the Football Club.
“The time I have spent with James has been very good. He has been very coachable and he wants to get better. He has been a big personality in the dressing room and he will be a loss but he is not irreplaceable.”
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, added: "Discussions have been taking place regarding James leaving the Club for a while. He made public his reasons for wanting to leave recently. We have always said in private to James that we will support him in whatever way we could, but also that we were unable to let him leave without Brentford receiving the proper compensation. For this reason the transfer talks have been protracted, and could not be concluded until a deal with Burnley that met our valuation had been agreed.
“We felt that James was wrong to make himself unavailable for selection against Burnley in January. Such decisions are entirely at the discretion of the Head Coach. As a Club we cannot condone such actions, which is why disciplinary action followed. To his credit, James accepted the sanction and issued an apology while also describing his personal situation in his statement. Having concluded a transfer, Dean, Rasmus and I can now draw a line under this matter, and wish James and his family well for the future."