BARNSLEY are trying to loan in attacking midfielder Amine Bassi and are still hopeful of bringing in two further players, most likely central midfielders, in the final three days of the January transfer window.
With the deadline 11pm on Monday, the Reds have so far recruited no one, while moving on three who were not playing.
Barnsley – who are bottom of the Championship and eight points from safety without a win in ten league games – are hunting reinforcements in midfield and up front, with chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad saying last week they were looking to sign ‘one to three’ players.
Bassi, 24, spent four years with Barnsley's sister club AS Nancy before moving last summer to Metz, for whom he has started twice and come off the bench three times in the French top flight.
The deal is not yet finalised but the Reds are hoping to bring him in on loan until the end of the season.
The Morroco under 21 international has played 105 games in the French second tier, with 24 goals and 16 assists.
Barnsley have been linked to Morecambe striker Cole Stockton, 27, who is the second top-scorer in League One with 17 goals, and Dundee United forward Louis Appere.
But the Chronicle understands neither are targets for the Reds this window.
They have previously looked into bringing in central midfielder Jay Fulton from Swansea City, but he is not a current target with Blackpool and Nottingham Forest are also reportedly interested.
Assistant coach Ferran Sibila addressed the media yesterday, with head coach Poya Asbaghi having tested positive for Covid-19.
He suggested that the injury crisis, which has prevented at least six first team players from playing, as well as Covid-19 cases, means the squad needs strengthening.
Sibila said: “We have nine players out of training, which is exceptional.
“If we were normal with only three or four out, then we would believe that the squad we have is enough.”
The Reds appear determined not to make it three January transfer windows in a row without selling a first team player.
The likes of Michal Helik, Mads Andersen, Callum Styles, Callum Brittain and Brad Collins are thought to be admired by other clubs.
El-Ahmad said the Reds rejected bids earlier in the window.
But Barnsley are hoping to offload players who don’t play.
Defender Toby Sibbick has been sold to Hearts, with the deal announced last night.
The Reds are also looking to move on Obbi Oulare.
The Belgian striker, 26, signed a three-year contract in the summer but has made just two brief substitute appearances, the last being in Asbaghi’s first match against Swansea City on November 24.
Earlier in the week, Asbaghi said: “All the players who are contracted to Barnsley are our responsibility.
“We will have to see until the last day of the window who will stay and who will leave.
“But until then they are our players.”
Isaac Christie-Davies is yet to make his debut for the Reds, 18 months into a three-year deal.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool youngster is the oldest central midfielder at the club aged 24. He has been out injured in recent months.
Barnsley have one of the youngest squads in the EFL, with many fans urging them to sign more experienced players.
Asbaghi said: “When you have a player who has a lot of experience you know what you get, but those players also cost a lot. Sometimes players do not have proven quality but they can come in and show their quality.”
Earlier in the window, the Reds sold Ben Williams to Cheltenham Town and loaned Tomas Kalinauskas to AFC Wimbledon for the rest of the season.