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By Simon Evans
BURNLEY, England, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Burnley transfer target Chris Wood withdrew from Leeds United’s squad for Saturday’s Championship game at Sunderland saying he did not feel it would be right to play while talks continue on a move.
The New Zealand international striker, who scored 27 goals in the second tier last season, is reported to be close to a £15 million ($19.31 million) move to the Premier League side.
“Due to strong interest from a Premier League team, the ongoing discussions with the club, and given it has always been my ambition to play at the highest level, I don’t feel it is right that I play today,” Wood said in a statement.
“I wish the team all the best and hope the lads can pick up the three points.”
Wood would become Burnley’s record signing should the deal go through, but after the club’s 1-0 loss at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Clarets manager Sean Dyche declined to comment on the Wood situation.
“I have made it clear many times, I choose to not look at other players in the public arena, I prefer to keep our business private,” Dyche told reporters.
The 25-year-old Wood joined Leeds from Leicester in 2015, having previously played for West Brom.
Wood, who played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as an 18-year-old, has scored 20 goals in 52 appearances for the All Whites. ($1 = 0.7769 pounds) (Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)