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Ireland and Burnley defender Dunne set to have spell in Scotland extended

Jimmy Dunne looks likely to stay with Hearts until the end of the season, having impressed Craig Levein.

HEARTS ARE CLOSE to extending Jimmy Dunne’s loan spell until the end of the season after manager Craig Levein confirmed an agreement has been made “in principle” with Burnley.

Having signed a new contract with Burnley in August, the 21-year-old central defender was sent to Scotland on loan until January to further his experience. 

Jimmy Dunne Jimmy Dunne standing for the national anthem before Monday's goalless draw against Denmark. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Although he hasn’t yet made his debut for Burnley, Dunne has impessed in Edinburgh after being brought in due to an injury to Scottish international Christophe Berra.

Dunne has played every minute of Hearts’ Scottish Premiership campaign since his arrival, with the club currently trailing leaders Celtic via goal difference only.

While Berra is expected to return from his injury lay-off shortly, Hearts boss Levein is keen nevertheless to retain the services of Dunne beyond the agreed timeframe: “I think Jimmy’s done that well that I’d find a place for him.”

Levein also told reporters that Burnley manager Sean Dyche is satisfied for the Irish youngster to remain with the Jam Tarts beyond January.

“I’ve spoken to Sean at Burnley and we’re going to speak again in January. In principle, we felt it was quite a good idea for him to prolong his stay here.”  

Burnley v Espanyol - Pre-Season Friendly - Turf Moor Jimmy Dunne playing for Burnley. Source: Anthony Devlin

Dunne, who is contracted to Burnley until the summer of 2020, was on the books at Manchester United before being signed by the Clarets in 2016.

Last January, he made a loan move to Accrington Stanley and played 20 games for the club as they achieved promotion to England’s third tier by winning the League Two title.

A Republic of Ireland U21 international, Dunne was recently called up to the senior squad, featuring among the substitutes for Monday night’s goalless draw with Denmark.

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Paul Dollery

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