Barnsley are searching for a new striker in the final ten days of the January transfer window.
Winger Luke Thomas was loaned to Ipswich Town this week, meaning the Reds are hoping to bring in some more depth for their front three in Valerien Ismael’s 3-4-3 formation.
The Reds are understood to have made a bid for Wigan Athletic's teenage forward Kyle Joseph.
Head coach Ismael told the Chronicle: “I said to the club that, if we let Luke go, we have to get a new striker. We have to find someone before the transfer window is closed and that is our purpose now.”
Barnsley currently have top-scorer Cauley Woodrow, new signing Carlton Morris, Conor Chaplin, Dominik Frieser and Victor Adeboyejo as their main options for the front three, with strikers Patrick Schmidt and George Miller being given very limited gametime.
The Reds brought in Morris and centre-back Liam Kitching in the first week of the transfer window and Ismael believes the new target of a striker will also be achieved efficiently by the recruitment department and chief executive Dane Murphy. He said: “I have trust in the club and in Dane. He has shown me his commitment and reaction in the transfer market. We have ten days to take the right decision, we have ideas and we are working on making them concrete. Internally we know exactly what type of striker we need to add to our squad and now we have the possibility to add something different.
“We have to use this possibility. We have to sign a player, that is for sure.”
Meanwhile, the Chronicle understands that, as of yesterday, there had been no new bids for Barnsley’s players.
Captain Alex Mowatt’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and the Reds are hoping he will extend it, while rejecting an offer for him from another club earlier in the window.
Ismael is determined to keep him beyond the current transfer window, whether or not he signs a new deal.
Millwall were understood to have been interested in him but that has now cooled.
The Reds are also hoping to keep hold of star players such Woodrow, who has ten goals this season, and 20-year-old prospect Callum Styles, who made his 50th appearance for the club this week.
Murphy has previously said it ‘wouldn’t make sense’ to sell any of them in January.
On Mowatt, Ismael said: “There is nothing new. I have spoken with Alex, we are on the same page.
“We know exactly where we are.
“If you saw his performance against Watford (on Tuesday), you recognised he has a clear commitment to Barnsley on the field.
“We will fight for him but I am very calm about this situation.
“He wants to stay.
“He knows exactly what he wants and he has a clear vision of what he expects.”
Players could leave the club this window, on loan or permanently.
Isaac Christie-Davies is yet to play for Barnsley or make a senior league appearance in his career which has previously been spent at Chelsea and Liverpool.
The 23-year-old midfielder has impressed recently for the under 23s but has not been in the last three first team matchday squads.
Striker Schmidt has played just once in the last 16 matches and had been linked with a loan move to League One Blackpool this week.
Asked if Schmidt could leave, Ismael said: “Everything is possible with all the players who are unhappy.
“It is the same situation with Isaac. If he is unhappy and we can find a solution that makes sense for him and the club, we will do it.”
Winger Daniel Bramall has been loaned out to League Two AFC Barrow for the remainder of the season.
The 22-year-old joined the Reds as an under 23s signing at the start of this season and excelled at that level with seven goals which encouraged Ismael to watch him in first team training.
But he now joins Barrow who are 20th in the fourth tier and managed by former Barnsley reserves player Michael Jolley.
Ismael said: “He is good young player who has shown quality with the second team.
“He is ready for the next step.
“The gap between our first team and our second team was too big for him, this in-between step will be good for him to close the gap before the summer.
“League One and League Two is a good place for our young players to go then come back more adult and more focused.”
Elliot Simoes, another winger, was loaned out to Doncaster Rovers earlier in the season and has so far made three starts for the League One club.
Jordan Green’s contract was cancelled by mutual consent earlier in the month.
The transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, February 1.