Butterfield all set to depart on the cheap

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BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill is resigned to captain Jacob Butterfield leaving Oakwell this summer.

The 21-year-old, who is out of contract come June, has not played since the turn of the year since suffering a knee injury against Leeds United but is interesting a host of Premier League clubs.

Due to Butterfield being under 24, Barnsley will be due compensation should he be snapped up by a rival club but Hill believes the Reds will get nothing like the midfielder’s true value.

He said: “Jacob is a sought-after midfield player. We have not had any real contact with Newcastle. There are no financial offers on the table for Jacob. Everyone is lining up their options and, if necessary, will take it to tribunal.

“We have offered him a good deal, in my opinion he won’t accept it. He will leave the football club and probably for the Premier League.”

Asked what he believes Butterfield is worth, Hill replied: “In today’s market, and in my opinion, £3m. It doesn’t matter if he is out of contract or not, he is worth £3m. Will we get that amount? Absolutely not.”

With Barnsley all but safe in the Championship, today’s televised game is of more significance for visitors West Ham, whose automatic promotion push has been hit by a run of just one win in seven games.

Manager Sam Allardyce said: “We have let our own destiny slip by getting the wrong result at the wrong places. It is a fact of life but we are in with a shout and we are determined to get the number one target and that is promotion.”

Reds defender Luke Potter has been forced to retire at the age of just 22 with a knee injury.

Last six games: Barnsley LLLLWL, West Ham United DDDWL.

Referee: T Bates (Staffordshire).

Last time: Barnsley 1 West Ham United 2; August 9, 1997; Premier League.

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