Emerging Red attracting interest

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BARNSLEY teenager James Bree is being watched by higher-division clubs, admits manager Lee Johnson.

The 17-year-old defender has made 13 appearances for the Reds this term and recently returned to action following a back injury.

James Bree

James Bree

Bree signed his first professional contract in February, 2014 and is contracted to the club until the summer of 2017.

Johnson said: “He (Bree) is getting a lot of interest from other clubs. Big clubs around the place.

“He’s a good player and all the top clubs are going to be monitoring all players who play regular first-team football who are under 18.”

Johnson says that his squad options are “down to the bare bones” for Saturday’s White Rose derby trip to Bradford.

Striker Sam Winnall, suffering with a hamstring strain, is rated at 50-50.

Youngster George Smith is also a doubt with a similar injury, with a decision to be make on his possible involvement tomorrow morning.

George Waring is back at parent club Stoke City and will not be involved, but could come into the equation for the final-day game with Keith Hill’s Rochdale.

On Winnall, Johnson said: “We have a couple of niggles. Sam has a bit of a niggle on his hamstring, so he is going to be 50-50.

“We also have another player and we will see how he is.

“It is a fine line; you are desperate to finish the season on a high note and you know to do that against two good sides, you want to play your best team.

“But then you also want to give everyone an opportunity to impress. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

“To be honest, we are quite down to the bare bones and the squad involved will be the best available squad anyway.”

Meanwhile, Johnson says that the club have begun talks with several out-of-contract players, with “three or four” still to speak to.