BARNSLEY have an option to buy American loanee Daryl Dike in the summer – but chief executive Dane Murphy has laughed off reports that it would take an eight-figure fee to bring him to Oakwell on a longer basis.
The 20-year-old striker from Oklahoma joined the Reds on loan from Major League Soccer club Orlando City until the end of the season ahead of Monday’s deadline.
While Orlando insisted it is a short-term deal and that they have a recall clause on Dike, who is fresh from making his debut for the US international team, Barnsley announced they had an option to buy the former University of Virginia college soccer player – with some reports claiming it is $20million (£14.7million).
American Murphy told the Chronicle: “It’s not realistic that Barnsley would agree to that.
“The club’s history with transfers and how high we’ve gone in the past is well-known.
“You just laugh at some of the numbers being thrown around. It’s silly season.
“The buy option is quite similar to prices we have paid for players before.
“It was key to the deal that we got a buy option in.
“We have made it pretty clear over the last few years that just pure loans don’t really appeal to us unless they are special circumstances, like a Matty James.
“It is difficult to get a club to put a buy clause in there when you have such a talented young player coming out of the US. But we got there.
“The outline is that it is a loan until the end of the season with a purchase option.
“There is a mutually-beneficial recall option, but just because Orlando wanted to make sure he gets gametime.
“They want to make sure he is getting minutes on the field. It’s nothing drastic and it’s quite easy to meet.
“It materialised late but it’s a good deal for both sides.”
Dike arrived in England on Wednesday and does not have to quarantine as elite sportspeople are exempt under the latest regulations.
Murphy, who played in the MLS for both DC United and New York Cosmos, said: “I have followed Daryl’s career for a long time. He went to the same university as I did and did extremely well. Obviously I follow the MLS and he’s been a stand-out.
“We kept tabs on him and the immigration policies changed on January 1, which meant that a player who is involved in the national team set-up and who is under 21 could become available.
“He made his international debut on Sunday and that meant he could move to us. We were happy when he came off the bench.”
The six foot two forward, whose surname is pronounced ‘Dee-kay’, scored eight goals in 19 appearances for Orlando in the 2020 MLS season, which ran from February to November, having been drafted at the start of last year following impressive form for the Virginia Cavaliers college side.
He was named MLS ‘Rookie of the Year’ and finished third in the vote for ‘Young Player of the Year.’
Dike, who can play as a striker or on the right of the front three and has been given the Reds’ number ten shirt, is from a successful footballing family as his brother and sister have both played for the Nigeria national teams.
His US international debut came as a substitute in Sunday’s 7-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in Orlando.