Cape Town - Stephen
Ward doesn't expect to see Michael Keane leave Burnley for Manchester
United ahead of next season, but the club will be short a crucial player
if he does.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly interested in signing the highly rated
young defender, who is a former member of the Red Devils youth setup,
and Ward worries that his departure would leave them short in defence.
"I haven't heard anything yet, but I wouldn't expect him to," Ward said in a recent interview with Goal.
"If Michael goes, we're going to have to sign someone because we'll only have three centre-halves."
Should Keane depart, that will mean a bigger role for Ward's fellow
Republic of Ireland international Kevin Long, who is expected to make a
bigger impact at club level this coming season.
"Kevin will have a chance," Ward said. "He's shown he's a good player
and it's great for him to come in here and it's given him a lot of
confidence. It'll be a good battle for him next year.
"He's done great. He's had to wait his chance at club level with the
two centre-halves doing so well. As I say, injuries happen in football
unfortunately, and he's gotten his chance in the last few games and done
"It's great for him to get a couple of caps here. I'm sure he'll be
delighted with that and hopefully a big season ahead for him as well."