CURRENT Barnsley director of football Bobby Hassell is hopeful of early business in the January transfer window but wants a generally quiet month which does not ‘disrupt’ Neill Collins and his promotion-hunting squad.

Hassell, a legend as a player for the Reds, has been made interim director of football so is likely to be responsible for transfers for the upcoming transfer window.

Hassell told the Chronicle: “The transfer list had already been put in place before I was appointed. It’s up to me to execute deals, speak to agents and get the best deals for the club financially.

“We want to get the work done quickly. There are some that we are close to.

“But I have been in football a long time and I know that, sometimes, at the last minute, things fall through.

“Other clubs and agents can get involved. But we’re hopeful we will have something done early.”

The Reds are not expecting a major influx of new signings, with at least one new centre-back thought to be the priority. They are currently seventh in League One, four points outside the play-off places, after 20 games.

Hassell said: “We’re in a decent position with a good squad already.

“The manager knows where he wants to strengthen to get us over the line.

“You don’t want to disrupt the team too much because relationships take time to build. There won’t be a massive amount of change.”

Chairman Neerav Parekh told the Chronicle this month it is ‘extremely unlikely’ Barnsley will sell any of their star first team players such as Devante Cole or Jordan Williams whose contracts expire next summer.

Hassell said: “We’re not expecting to sell any of them but you never know in football.

“If other clubs are desperate they might come in with a silly bid that might tempt the club to sell one of the players who is out of contract for instance.

“We have an extensive list in every position to replace players if that does happen. But that usually happens last-minute and I would be very surprised if the owners would sell with no time for a replacement.”

As for contract negotiations, Hassell said: “It’s just January for me.

“Talking about contracts is not on my list of tasks. That’s with the owners.”

Barnsley are also hoping to keep goalkeeper Liam Roberts, who has impressed on loan from Middlesbrough but there is a recall clause in January.

“We are looking to keep Liam until the end of the season on loan.

“I know the club are keen to keep him permanently after that.

“We are mindful that loan players can be recalled at any minute.

“We’re speaking to the clubs around that and we will have contingencies just in case.”

Players such as Conor McCarthy, who has not played a league game this season, could be moved on in the window.

Hassell said: “There are first team players not even in the matchday squad.

“They want to play games and the club wants to get them playing.

“There will be hopefully loans going out to other clubs.”