Enjoying its best season in a generation, Burnley convinced highly rated manager Sean Dyche to sign a new 4 1/2-year deal that the English Premier League club hopes will act as a “keep-off sign” to potential suitors.

Dyche, who is now tied to Burnley until 2022, had been on a rolling 12-month contract and was linked with vacancies at top-flight rivals Everton and Leicester this season.

Burnley climbed into the Champions League positions in the Premier League at one stage last month. Even after a dip in form, the team is in eighth place, massively exceeding expectations in its second season back in the top flight and keeping Burnley on course for its best finish since the mid-70s.

“We’ve had a great season so far and with that always comes speculation about clubs being interested in your manager,” Burnley chairman Mike Garlick said.

“Hopefully, again what we’re doing today means we can plan for the future and there’s a big ‘keep-off’ sign there with a four-and-a-half-year contract.”

Dyche, who took charge in 2012, led Burnley to promotion to the Premier League in 2014 and ’16.

“I am quite young in management terms,” the 46-year-old Dyche said. “I am still learning and still improving, I believe, so for my personal reasons, as well, it’s the right place to be.”

Burnley also brought in former England winger Aaron Lennon on loan from Everton on Tuesday. Last week, Everton signed another right winger, Theo Walcott.

Lennon, who has made 21 appearances for England, was detained by police in May under the Mental Health Act over concerns for his welfare. He returned to Everton’s squad this season and has played 19 times.

“I have missed a bit of football in the last year or so,” Lennon said, “and I just want to get back and play as much as possible.”

Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

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