CENTRE-BACK Aapo Halme is expected to be released by Barnsley this weekend, the Chronicle understands, the first of many likely to leave Oakwell this summer as the squad undergoes a major post-relegation shake-up.
The futures of central midfielder Romal Palmer and striker Victor Adeboyejo are not certain, with both of their contracts expiring this summer.
The official retained list is likely to be published today or tomorrow, which is thought to be the deadline.
Jordan Helliwell, David Bremang and Charlie Winfield – who have been mainly in the under 23s this season – have signed new contracts.
Will Hondermarck and Will Lancaster are also understood to have been offered new deals.
The Reds are expected to release other development players as well as loaned-out duo George Miller and Tomas Kalinauskas.
Halme, who will be 24 on Sunday, signed from Leeds United in 2019 on a three-year deal with the Reds set to decline to use their option to extend it by another year.
The Finn played 61 games but only started five league fixtures across the last two seasons, with none since September as he has struggled with injuries.
Adeboyejo, 24, joined the Reds in 2017 and has played 98 games, scoring nine goals. He netted three times this season, with only Carlton Morris and Cauley Woodrow scoring more. The Reds are thought to be keen to keep him if a deal can be agreed.
Palmer, 23, signed for Barnsley aged 15 and made his debut during lockdown at the end of the 2019/20 season, going on to make 77 appearances with two goals.
He was a regular in the second half of last season as the Reds reached the play-offs but, as part of an extremely young central midfield this season, has struggled for consistency and been in and out of the team.
He was close to signing a new deal last summer but it could not be agreed.
Striker Miller joined in January 2019 but has played just nine games, often at wing-back, while being loaned out to Bradford, Scunthorpe and this season Walsall for whom he scored 12 League Two goals.
Kalinauskas, the Lithuanian under 21 midfielder, signed a one-year deal last summer but did not get in a first team squad and was loaned to League One AFC Wimbledon in January for whom he played twice.
Hondermarck signed for the under 23s in September and impressed many fans in central midfield for the first team before spending five months out of the side then returning in the final three matches as a right wing-back under caretaker Martin Devaney.
The 21-year-old French-born Republic of Ireland under 21 international has made three starts for the Reds and come off the bench seven times.
Midfielder Lancaster, 19, has been at the club since he was seven and has been a regular for the under 23s, as well as having a brief loan spell at Whitby.
The publication of the retained list will begin a summer of change at Oakwell with a search for a head coach ongoing and the sale of several players likely as they look to offset losses of £7-8million for being relegated from the Championship into League One.
Whoever takes the head coach job is likely to work next season with a very different squad to the one that finished last in the Championship with 30 points – the worst season since 1952/53.
Players such as Woodrow, Morris, Callum Styles, Michal Helik, Mads Andersen, Brad Collins and Callum Brittain could be sold, if appropriate bids come in.
The Reds have been linked with a move for Leicester City’s 18-year-old striker Jack Butterfill, who played a trial game for their under 23s this month.
There is not thought to be any deal close currently.