ALONG with the main prize of promotion, victory at Wembley on Monday would give Barnsley a greater chance of keeping hold of their star players.

While the Reds are less likely to sell as many stars this summer if they have returned to the Championship, they will also be in a stronger position to make permanent the loan spells of players such as Bobby Thomas.

The centre-back, 22, has excelled on loan from Burnley after joining in January.

Barnsley are understood to have an option to buy him if they are promoted.

Thomas told the Chronicle: “I think there is a clause in there but I am not too sure what’s happening.

“It wouldn’t be a bad club to come back to. I can definitely see myself here.”

Thomas’ parent club Burnley have already won promotion this season as Championship champions.

“I have been in touch with most of them. They have done a fantastic job this year. Hopefully we can get it done for Barnsley as well because it’s a massive club and we want to send them in the right direction.”

Thomas has been to Wembley twice to watch his beloved Everton but never played there. The Reds face neighbours Sheffield Wednesday. He said: “It’s a derby on the biggest stage of England. It’s a big game for both sides involved, and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Thomas has played 24 games for the Reds after signing in January, having spent the first half of the campaign at Bristol Rovers.

“It’s been really good. I came in not knowing what to expect but it’s been quite smooth. We picked up a lot of points and I have enjoyed all my football here.”

Bobby’s namesake Luke Thomas is out of contract in the summer. Both he and the Reds are understood to want him to stay for longer. Luke told the Chronicle: “I think there have been talks but nothing concrete yet.

“There are bigger things to concentrate on. We will get Monday out the way, see what division we’re in then take it from there.”