BARNSLEY are attempting to keep their history-making squad together under Valerien Ismael although the head coach admits ‘success makes you sexy.’
The Reds missed out on a place in the Championship play-off final, drawing 1-1 at Swansea City in the semi-final second leg on Saturday and losing 2-1 on aggregate.
They reached the second tier play-offs for the first time in more than two decades, with a fifth-placed finish and 78 points which is their fourth highest tally ever.
Ismael – the head coach who led the Reds in a remarkably successful season – has been linked with a move to other clubs, including Premier League Crystal Palace for whom he played in 1998 and who are managerless after Roy Hodgson’s exit.
The Frenchman is contracted until 2023 and the Chronicle understands that the Reds are fully expecting and planning for him to be in charge when the squad returns to training on June 28.
Barnsley held onto all their players in the January transfer window and will attempt to do so again in the summer, although some deals are out of their hands.
Captain Alex Mowatt is now out of contract and, while the Reds are set to re-open negotiations over an extension, he is expected to receive offers from other clubs.
The Reds have a fee agreed to buy Daryl Dike, as part of the deal for his very successful loan from Orlando City, but would have to still agree personal terms with the striker who is understood to also be of interest to several Premier League clubs.
Dike is currently on international duty with the USA who are due to play a friendly against hosts Switzerland on Sunday before competing in the CONCACAF Nations League in early June in Colorado.
Centre-backs Michal Helik – who is in the Poland squad for Euro 2020 which starts in a fortnight – and Mads Andersen are expected to attract interest from other clubs this summer, as are wing-backs Callum Styles and Callum Brittain.
They are all contracted until at least 2023 but the Reds are understood to be keen to renegotiate and lengthen many of their star players’ deals this summer.
Top-scorer Cauley Woodrow has also been on the radar of other Championship clubs but has said ‘my future is here.’
Ismael told the Chronicle: “The players had an incredible season.
“Everyone knows the philosophy of Barnsley. Success makes you sexy.
“The interest for the players is normal. We kept all the players in January so we will see what is going on.
“For me it is exactly the same. I need to reflect on the journey we made and to see my family finally. I gave everything this season.”
Neil Redfearn was Barnsley’s captain when they reached the Premier League in 1997 and coached Mowatt at Leeds United. He told the Chronicle: “I hope Alex stays at Barnsley. When you play well, you will get interest.
“His stock is high but I think he can achieve what he wants to achieve at Barnsley.
“But he is ambitious and he’ll make his own decision.”
As for new signings, chief executive Dane Murphy previously said the Reds had a different list of targets for whether they were in the Championship or Premier League. No deals are thought to be currently imminent.
Patrick Schmidt, Marcel Ritzmaier, Isaac Christie-Davies, Luke Thomas, Elliot Simoes, Jack Aitchison and Matty Wolfe were all loaned out in the second half of the season.
Several of them could be moved on permanently this summer although no moves are close.
Most of the players and staff have now gone on holiday, with only those recovery from injury such as Ben Williams remaining at the club.
The fixtures are due to be announced on June 24, with the 2021/22 season beginning on August 7.