FU­TURE OF REBEL JAMES IS UP IN THE AIR

Tarkowski no-show may force trans­fer

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By John Lyons

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.”

Mis­guided

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

CALM BE­FORE THE STORM: James Tarkowski in Brent­ford colours

HEAD­ING HOME: Bees mid­fielder Jota is re­turn­ing to Spain

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