FUTURE OF REBEL JAMES IS UP IN THE AIR
Tarkowski no-show may force transfer
THE prospect of Brentford’s highly-rated defender James Tarkowski playing for the club again appear to be slim after he refused to play for the Bees on Friday night.
The Bees were rocked when the 23-year-old centre-back made himself unavailable for the live TV clash with Burnley, who have recently had bids turned down for the £5m-rated centre-back.
The Bees have confirmed they will take internal disciplinary action against Tarkowski and must now decide what to do next. The Championship outfit may well decide it is best to cash in on the former Oldham defender rather than keen an unhappy player.
In a statement on Friday night, Brentford said: “Following discussions with (manager Dean) Smith, Tarkowski declared himself unavailable for the fixture despite being selected in the starting line-up. As a result of these actions, he will be disciplined by the club.
“Any resulting sanction will remain confidential and the club will make no further comment on potential punishment.
“Tarkowski has been the subject of transfer bids during the current January transfer window but none have matched the club’s valuation of the player. In fact, all recent bids have been substantially lower than one that was rejected last year.”
Brentford boss Smith said that Tarkowski had been ‘misguided’ and his decision not to play is sure to have angered Bees fans, who saw their side lost 3-1 to the Clarets. It capped a miserable week in which the Bees crashed out of the FA Cup to Smith’s former club Walsall and also lost at home against table-toppers Middlesbrough in the Championship.
Football League Paper columnist and Football League Tonight pundit Adam Virgo has blasted Tarkowski’s no-show.
He tweeted: “Since when can a player pick and choose who he wants to play against! The club pays his wages every month on the dot! Embarrassing Tarkowski.”
The Bees have also had interest in midfielders Alan Judge, from Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday, and Toumani Diagouraga, from Glasgow Rangers, this month.
But speaking to The FLP after Tuesday’s 1-0 home defeat against Boro, Tarkowski said the transfer speculation wasn’t affecting him.
“When a team is doing quite well you are always going to get teams looking at players and stuff like that,” he said.“We’ve got some really talented lads here but lots of stuff you hear is just hearsay and rumours.
“I’m contracted to Brentford for now, I’m playing most weeks and I’m looking forward to continue doing that. If anything changes, I’ll have to deal with that, but I’ve still got a year and a half left on my contract.”
One player who is definitely heading out of Griffin Park – though perhaps not permanently – is their Spanish midfielder, Jota.
The 24-year-old is under contract with Brentford until the end of the 2016-17 season but Brentford now have an option to extend that for a further season. However, he has moved to La Liga side Eibar on loan until summer 2017.
Brentford said: “He made five appearances for the Bees this term but has been unavailable in recent weeks due to a combination of a calf injury and an ongoing personal problem.”
The player himself has written a letter to Brentford fans to thank them for their support.
“My decision is based solely on personal circumstances and for that reason I will spend the next 18 months at home in Spain,” he said.
“This isn’t goodbye but more of a ‘see you later’, or ‘hasta luego’ as we say in Spain, because I have just extended my contract with Brentford for an extra year.
“Thank you for giving me so much love and opening your arms and your football club to me.”
CALM BEFORE THE STORM: James Tarkowski in Brentford colours
HEADING HOME: Bees midfielder Jota is returning to Spain