– Barnsley had deal arranged but it has now been cancelled
– Duff wants at least one striker and ‘probably a right wing-back’
– Boss: ‘I am pretty confident no one will be sold in the window’
BARNSLEY are hoping to strengthen their promotion-chasing squad in the January transfer window but Michael Duff says they are not in ‘desperate need’ of new players.
The window opens on Sunday and runs throughout the month of January.
The Reds are hoping to bring in ‘two or three’ players, with up front and right wing-back the areas they are targeting.
On his aims for the window in general, Duff told the Chronicle: “I want to bring in players who will affect the team.
“We don’t want bodies in for the sake of it. The team is in a good place.
“I don’t think we will look for five or six. But we want to add two or three to the group.
“We had a big change in the summer and we’ve taken two or three months to get it going and we’re on a nice little run.
“We want to improve it without disrupting it, which is never easy.”
He added: “A lot of it is down to finances. I don’t think we’re in desperate need because we’re on good form.
“It’s easy to always say we need this and that. We work with the players we have got who have done really well recently.
“We know what we want and the club will hopefully support us in that.
“But money hasn’t all of a sudden appeared, we have had to fill a financial hole which we’ve known all season.”
The Reds had a deal agreed to bring in a new player for weeks but it has now been cancelled.
Duff said: “It was done. He was due to train with us this week then join in the first week of January. But circumstances change, he has now found himself in the team at his club.”
Duff has admitted his squad is ‘light’ on strikers. Devante Cole and James Norwood are the only senior out and out strikers, with eight and five goals respectively. Jack Aitchison and Josh Martin have been used up front but are attacking midfielders, loanee Slobodan Tedic is injured and the other option has been 17-year-old Fabio Jalo –mainly off the bench.
At right wing-back, Jordan Williams has been impressive but has to manage ongoing issues with his hamstring while there is no one else in the first team squad in that position. Jordan Helliwell, Will Hondermarck and Josh Benson have all been tried there but are midfielders and currently out injured.
Asked what positions he wants to strengthen, Duff said: “Definitely one striker and probably a right wing-back. The profile of them depends on what is out there. There are lots of conversations going on with agents and clubs, and loads of plates spinning.
“If we get an opportunity to get two strikers in who will affect the team, we will look at that. But we won’t just get two because we’ve said we need two.
“You might end up going for one who costs the price of two.”
Will the new signings be loans or permanents? Duff said: “It’s difficult for me to answer that because I don’t get involved in the negotiations. It’s slightly different to my last club.
“It depends on what things cost.
“The club prefer permanents, based on creating assets. But I don’t know exactly where they are financially.
“We’re looking at both.”
Duff has said he does not think the Reds will sell any first team players, but admits he cannot guarantee it and it depends whether bidding clubs hit the valuation. Captain Mads Andersen is one of the players most likely to attract bids. The Danish defender’s contract expires at the end of the season but the Reds have an option to extend it for a further season.
Duff said: “I am pretty confident no one will be sold in the window.
“We’re looking to add. There were a lot of players sold in the summer or moved on, and it’s taken a lot of time.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot of interest in Mads and quite a few of the others. But it’s important we keep the squad together this window.
“The next window is slightly different and you never know.”
The Reds have done a large portion of their business in the last two transfer windows in the final hours.
“In a perfect world we will get everything done in the first two weeks.
“No one wants to go to the last day but it happens all the time. Sometimes it is not in your control. You have to wait for other people and other clubs.”
Clarke Oduor is understood to have returned from his loan at League Two Hartlepool. The 23-year-old made 14 appearances, seven from the start, and scored once but had fallen out of favour under new manager Keith Curle.