Getty Images

In-form Irvine stays grounded as suitors circle

Australia midfielder Jackson Irvine has made light of the maelstrom of interest swirling around him by cheekily declaring: "If Barcelona come in for me then I'll probably go!"

The in-form Aussie powering Burton Albion

Irvine's emergence in his debut season at Burton Albion as the Championships's leading scorer from midfield - eight in 24 league games - has caught the attention of a clutch of suitors.

Luis Enrique, though, is not believed to be among them.

Burton boss Nigel Clough, meanwhile, has sought to tie the club's record signing to a contract upgrade to ward off a January raid.

Irvine, 23, isn't allowing the speculation to dilute his desire to help save the club he joined in the northern summer from dropping back down to League One.

"January is a long window and if something happens I am sure the club will deal with it accordingly ... at the moment it's all just rumors," said Irvine. "

"I am sure that if Barcelona come in for me then l'll probably go," he said wryly.

"They are the club you'd guarantee you'd go to if they made an offer - but I can't quite see that happening.

"Of course it's flattering (to be attracting interest) but the boss has already stated that there's been nothing official.

"I don't like to think too far ahead or get too distracted ... we are down near the bottom and have really important games (against fellow strugglers) Wigan and Cardiff coming up.

"That's what I'm focusing on right now."

Swansea, Norwich, Huddersfield, Birmingham City,  Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers have all been tracking Irvine, who acknowledges that his goal tally for the Brewers has brought the spotlight upon him.

"When you score goals from midfield it always draws attention," the once goal-shy former Ross County and Celtic man said.

"I think I've been playing well overall, but when you're scoring that's what grabs the attention.

"I want to thank the club for the chance they've given to me to express myself.

"I didn't come to Burton to be a goal scorer - and I'm sure the club felt that way too. It's just been a huge bonus for me."

Irvine missed last weekend's 2-0 FA Cup loss to Watford as he recovered from blow to the head against Preston.

"The cut didn't need stitches and I am desperate to be involved again as soon as possible - hopefully against Wigan this weekend," he said.


Looks like you are using an ad-blocker

to continue to provide you with unmatchable content, disable the ad-blocker