Alex Mowatt hopes he will extend his stay at Oakwell and admits that fellow long-serving star Cauley Woodrow signing a new deal in October encouraged him.

Striker and top-scorer Woodrow extended his deal until 2023 and the Reds also want to sign their captain Mowatt up for longer as his current contract ends after this season.

Mowatt told the Chronicle: “Cauley is one of our best players so, when you see people like him sign a new contract, it shows the club wants to build and they don’t want to let their best players go.

“When we got promoted last year, we had a really good team then we lost four or five key players, and it was difficult but – with Cauley signing a new deal – maybe it will be different this time.

“We don’t know how good we can be yet.

“We have done well under the new gaffer, we want to keep playing well and winning games and see where we get to.

“We will have to see what happens with my contract, but hopefully we can get something sorted soon.”

He added: “We’re still in talks.

“We’ll have to see what comes up.

“I definitely hope we can do a deal because I really enjoy it here and I have been here a while.

“Since the gaffer has come in he’s been really good with me, and all the lads.

“I take each game as it comes and don’t think about the future too much.”

Mowatt – who signed for Barnsley almost four years ago and has made 128 appearances – is hoping the Reds also keep his midfield partner Matty James whose loan from Leicester City is due to expire next month.

“Matty is a great player and he’s done well since he’s come in.

“He hasn’t played for a long time but he’s been good.

“He adds something to the club because he’s a bit older and brings experience that we need.”

Mowatt has also been impressed by 20-year-old Callum Styles.

He said: “Last season I don’t know how he didn’t play more games, because I thought he was our best player in training. He’s started this season really well and he can play at the highest level.

“He’s an unbelievable player.

“He is one of the best players I’ve ever played with, at such a young age.

“If he adds more goals and assists to his game, which he is, he will go to the top.”

On Mowatt’s contract, head coach Valerien Ismael added: “It’s normal that such a situation happens in football.

“Alex is a very big part of the club, he is the captain and the soul.

“For the moment, I am very delighted to work with him. He has already shown his quality for the team and that he can play in our philosophy.

“The club wants to keep him, the manager wants to keep him but we need to know what the player, the agent and the family wants.

“It is still a long way off at the moment and we need to focus on the games.

“I am always confident and I believe we will have the next step with him. For sure it is a money question and it’s a negotiation between the club and Alex.”