Defour nears Burnley return with extended deal after eight months out

Burnley have triggered an extra year in the Belgium international’s deal and he is close to making his comeback from injury

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has confirmed Steven Defour’s contract has been extended to 2020, with the midfielder close to returning after a long lay-off.

Defour has not played since January due to knee and calf injuries, the Belgium international missing the chance to go to the World Cup as a result.

The 30-year-old denied reports this week he was considering leaving Turf Moor and Dyche announced an option to extend his contract for a further year has been taken up by the club.

“That was always the case,” Dyche said of Defour’s deal being extended at a news conference on Friday.

“He was injured at the time and we leave players alone when they’re injured, so we didn’t go out to the press and say he’s here for another two years. But he is, and there’s no question in-house what we’re talking about.”

Burnley have taken just one point from their first four Premier League games but Defour’s upcoming return will boost Dyche’s midfield options.

“Steven is doing really well,” Dyche added. “He’s been training with us full-out for a week to 10 days, which is great, and he’s looking well and feeling well.

“He will start a games’ programme, we’re hoping, next week if all goes to plan. He will need a couple of games to build into it and build up to at least 90 minutes.”

Johann Gudmundsson and Stephen Ward have been passed fit for Sunday’s trip to Wolves but Robbie Brady, Nick Pope and Ben Gibson are unavailable due to injury.

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