BARNSLEY’S flurry of recent transfer activity is expected to continue over the next week or two as their squad takes shape for the upcoming League One season.
Following the appointment of Michael Duff as head coach last week, the Reds have been busy in the transfer market.
They have sold captain Cauley Woodrow to Luton Town, with fellow striker Patrick Schmidt also leaving, while goalkeeper Jamie Searle, midfielder Luca Connell and defender Robbie Cundy have all joined the club.
The Chronicle understands they are close to securing more deals, with at least one likely to go through in the next week although it is not certain.
Left wing-back is one of the areas they are trying to strengthen as they currently have no senior players who are natural left-backs and have not signed any permanently since Dani Pinillos in 2018.
The Reds’ full first team squad were due back in pre-season training from Monday, after some players had returned for fitness work across the previous fortnight. Barnsley are due to visit non-league Worksop Town in their first friendly tomorrow and the League One season starts in five weeks on July 30.
The Reds are expected to sell several players this summer to offset the roughly £7-8million losses caused by relegation to League One last season, with Woodrow the first to go.
The Chronicle understands that no serious approaches have been made so far for any of the current squad, but the club are braced for bids in the future.
They are ideally hoping to sell no more than two or three of their first team players to plug that financial hole, with Duff last week pointing out that last season’s failings and the lack of money in English football may lessen any chances of a series of moves away.
Duff said that he would not be too involved in the training this week and next, instead monitoring the players’ body language and talking to them to work out who ‘wants to be be here.’
Callum Styles is one of the most likely to leave. He is understood to have been given some extra days off by Barnsley following international duty but is also reportedly of interest to several Premier League and overseas clubs.
The 22-year-old, who has a year left on his contract with an option for the Reds to add another, played for Hungary until last week, twice against England as well as once against Italy and Germany.
Michal Helik missed the end of last season with an ankle injury and has been at Oakwell for rehab this week.
It is unclear whether he will be fully fit for the start of the season, but is another expected to be sold.
The 26-year-old Poland international centre-back, who has one year left on his current contract, has been of interest to several overseas clubs in the past and previously suggested he would look to leave the Reds if they dropped down to League One.
Others who may attract interest are striker Carlton Morris, centre-back Mads Andersen, goalkeeper Brad Collins and right-back Callum Brittain, but Barnsley are thought to be keen to keep them if finances allow.
Their contracts all expire next year but the Reds have an option to extend them all for a further year.
Meanwhile, neither Romal Palmer and Victor Adeboyejo returned to training this week, the Chronicle understands.
The duo were both offered new contracts at the end of last season but are yet to sign.
Their current deals expire on Thursday, when the new season will be a month away, and the Reds are not expected to wait much longer for a decision.
Striker Adeboyejo, who scored nine goals in 98 games since signing for the Reds in 2017, is understood to be of interest to fellow League One club Portsmouth.
Midfielder Palmer, who has been with the Reds for eight years since he was 15, has made 77 first team appearances.
After being a regular in the side that reached the Championship semi-final last year, he was in and out for much of last season and admitted his performance levels and confidence had dropped.
Will Hondermarck and Will Lancaster have been in training at Oakwell for weeks and are both expected to sign the deals that have been offered to them.
New signing Connell arrived on a three-year contract after leaving Celtic.
The 21-year-old midfielder joined the Scottish giants in 2019, having made ten Championship appearances for first club Bolton Wanderers as a teenager, but never made his debut and played 42 games for Scottish third tier side Queen’s Park on loan, scoring ten goals.
Meanwhile, Schmidt returned to former club Admira Wacker after three years at the club. The Austrian striker joined in 2019 and made 41 appearances but only four were league starts. He scored in injury-time in the wins over Millwall and Nottingham Forest in 2019/20, with the latter keeping the Reds up.
He has spent the last 18 months out on loan at first SV Ried in Austria then Barnsley’s then ‘sister club’ Esbjerg in the Danish second division.