Barnsley are still waiting to announce Obbi Oulare’s transfer, but fully expect to do so in the near future, as they look to do their remaining business in the next fortnight if possible.
The Championship season begins two weeks tomorrow with the Reds visiting Cardiff City and head coach Markus Schopp has said he wants all their business to be done by then.
They have so far this summer brought in Devante Cole with his fellow striker Oulare almost certain to follow.
The Chronicle understands the Reds are still set to sign Oulare with him potentially playing a friendly at former club Watford a week tomorrow.
The deal has been in place for about a week with the exact reason for the delay unclear, although it is not thought to endanger the move.
They are understood to be considering a central midfielder as well as a left wing-back, and another striker.
With new chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad serving his notice at City Football Group before he replaces Dane Murphy who has moved to Nottingham Forest, co-chairman Paul Conway has taken a more active role. Conway was at the pre-season friendly with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and is working closely with the recruitment department headed up by fellow part-owner James Cryne.
Josh Benson, the 21-year-old Burnley midfielder, is thought to be a potential target but there is no deal currently close.
The Reds have been linked with Dutch midfielder Zian Flemming but the Chronicle understands the 22-year-old Fortuna Sittard man is not a current target.
Schopp had hinted that he is hoping to bring in a more experienced midfielder as the likes of Callum Styles, Romal Palmer and Herbie Kane are all under 23. Former captain Alex Mowatt moved to West Bromwich Albion, following outgoing head coach Valerien Ismael.
Styles, who played at left wing-back last season and is considered one of Barnsley’s most talented players, has been used in the middle so far in pre-season which is his original position. Schopp said: “We have a really, really young team. We lost, with the captain and Michael Sollbauer, two major players with experience. So it is always a question of what we can do. We started on a really high level because the team did a really good job last season.
“But some pieces have left, you will never find the same piece but it depends what kind of piece you’re going to find.
“We want to figure it out as soon as possible, latest before the first game against Cardiff City.”
Oulare is expected to sign a multi-year deal from Belgian giants Standard Liege for whom he has scored five goals in 42 games, mostly off the bench, since 2018.
The 25-year-old Belgian, who is six foot four, has not played competitively since December and turned down a move to Barnsley in January.
Then head coach Valerien Ismael said: “Obbi Oulare was a name on our list but the player wasn’t interested in coming to Barnsley and we’re not interested in such a player.”
Oulare is thought to have been unwilling to leave Belgium at the time for personal reasons. His arrival would almost certainly lead to the exit of at least one Barnsley forward. Cauley Woodrow, Carlton Morris and Cole are thought to be integral to Schopp’s plans.
Dominik Frieser, Conor Chaplin and Victor Adeboyejo have not featured in pre-season due to minor injuries.
One or more of them is likely to be sold or loaned in the coming weeks.
The likes of George Miller and Elliot Simoes could also leave this window.
Luke Thomas has been loaned to Bristol Rovers for the season while six players have been leant to the Reds’ sister club Efsbjerg in the Danish second division. Barnsley are expected to continue to move players on to some of the other clubs owned by their owners.