ZIMBABWE international striker, Macauley Bonne, could find himself playing in the English Premiership next season at Burnley.
Reports yesterday indicated the Yorkshire club have now intensified efforts to bring him into their squad.
The 24-year-old top-scored for Charlton Athletic in the English Championship last season, scoring 11 goals in 33 games.
But, his efforts were not enough to keep the Addicks in the second-tier of English football.
The London side were relegated after a 0-4 thrashing, on the final day of the season, at the hands of Championship winners Leeds United.
However, it appears Bonne might not drop into League One with reports yesterday indicating Burnley have moved another notch to take him into the Premiership.
The only Zimbabwean in the Premiership last season, midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, is being targeted by Turkish club Trabzonspor.
Newspaper reports in England yesterday said Trabzonspor want Nakamba to replace former Nigeria captain, John Obi Mikel, who quit the club after a coronavirus row.
Egyptian winger, Trezeguet, is also on the Turkish side’s shopping list.
Villa paid Club Brugge about £11 million for Nakamba as part of the £140m they spent on transfer after promotion from the Championship.
Manager Dean Smith is keen to prioritise players with Premier League experience as Villa look to have a more comfortable campaign in 2020-21.
The club’s billionaire owners, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, are understood to be prepared to spend again to push Villa closer to the top six.
This will see the club being in a centre-forward, a wide attacker and a central midfielder.
While Nakamba could leave the Premiership, it appears a door could open for Bonne, who was born in Ipswich.
The striker represented the Zimbabwe Under-23 side in 2014 and made his full international debut for the Warriors in 2017.
Burnley see Bonne as a back-up option, if they are unable to land number one target, Joshua King who is believed to be unsettled at relegated Bournemouth.
King is wanted by Everton and Brighton.
Championship side Derby County are also reported to be interested in Bonne while Fulham, who were chasing a Premiership place last night in their shoot-out against Brentford at Wembley, are also keeping an eye on the Zimbabwean.
Charlton are locked in a dispute around the ownership of the club, and with rumours of a potential administration circulating, the Addicks may be tempted to cash in on Bonne.
Bonne said he was thrilled with his goal haul for Charlton just before the end of the season and intimated he wanted to stay at the Valley.
“I’m buzzing,” Bonne said in an interview on the club’s website. “When I first signed here I didn’t think I’d play as much as I did — just because of the level I was coming from. Once I got thrown in due to injuries I took my chance.
“I’m humble. I’m working my socks off to get to the very top with Charlton.’’
Charlton have also indicated they could use the boardroom to try and remain in the Championship.
Yesterday, Wigan’s relegation to League One was confirmed, after they lost their appeal against a 12-point deduction for going into administration.
Wigan appealed against the punishment on the grounds of “force majeure.’’
But, an independent arbitration panel ruled against them, meaning Barnsley will stay in the Championship.
The Latics went into administration on 1 July when their new Hong Kong-based owners conceded they could not support the club financially.
Force majeure events are usually defined as certain acts, events or circumstances beyond the control of the involved parties, such as natural disasters, war or a pandemic.
The timing of Wigan going into administration meant that their penalty was applied following their 1-1 draw with Fulham on the final day of the season.
Without the punishment the Latics would have finished 13th in the table, but once the points were deducted they ended up second-from-bottom.
The case could interest Charlton.
The club said they were considering legal action following the news Sheffield Wednesday’s 12-point deduction, for breaching financial rules, will be imposed next season.
Charlton, who finished 22nd in the Championship, would have stayed up at the expense of Wednesday had the sanction been applied to the 2019-20 campaign.
An independent disciplinary commission, appointed under English Football League regulations, punished the Owls after deeming they should not have included profits from the sale of Hillsborough stadium in statements for the period ending July 2018.
“The club is considering a legal challenge following the news that Sheffield Wednesday will receive a sporting sanction that will take effect in the 2020-21 season,” read a Charlton statement.
“We fail to understand why the deduction will take place next season rather than the current season, which seems to be irrational, and are writing to the EFL to get an explanation of the justification.”
Sheffield Wednesday finished 16th in the Championship, eight points clear of the drop zone.
Had their penalty been applied to the 2019-20 season, as happened in the Wigan case yesterday, they would have plummeted to the bottom of the division, sparing Charlton. Lee Bowyer’s Addicks only finished in 22nd position because Wigan, who accumulated three more points than Garry Monk’s Owls over the course of the campaign, were deducted 12 points for entering administration. The Owls said they were disappointed with the verdict.
“Sheffield Wednesday acknowledges the decision of the independent disciplinary commission announced today,” read a club statement.
“The club is extremely disappointed that the commission has imposed a 12-point deduction to be applied next season and awaits the written reasons for this decision.
“The club welcomes the decision that the commission cleared Sheffield Wednesday of the charge of acting in bad faith in its dealings with the EFL.
“Further, the commission decided not to apply a 12-point deduction this season, thereby imposing relegation.”
Hillsborough was sold to a company owned by Chansiri for around £60 million.
The EFL charge, brought in November 2019, related to “how and when” the stadium deal was completed.
Without the transaction, Wednesday would have posted a pre-tax loss of £35.4 million for the financial year covering the 2017-18 campaign. — AP/BBC Sports/The Independent/Sports Reporter