Barnsley's Sam Winnall completes Sheffield Wednesday move

Sam Winnall

Sam Winnall

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The worst known secret in South Yorkshire football was confirmed this evening as Sheffield Wednesday signed Barnsley's top scorer Sam Winnall.

News of the deal leaked out on Wednesday, but it was late Friday afternoon before the news was officially confirmed.

Winnall - who has netted 11 goals for the Tykes this season - has put pen to paper on a three and a half year contract with the Owls, in a £500,000 deal.

The striker was out of contract in the summer, and Barnsley have opted to cash in now rather than see the 25-year-old leave for nothing at the end of the season.

He is eligible to play for Wednesday against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, and will wear the No 11 shirt.

"I was very pleased to get it done early," Winnall said.

"It's fantastic to hear that a club of this size were interested in me and as soon as I heard that I wanted to come over and get it sorted. It's done now and I'm really looking forward to getting playing and getting started."

Explaining his reasons for wanting to make the move, Winnall added: "Obviously it's the stature of the club, it's a massive club and it's so well supported. I played here a couple of weeks ago with Barnsley and the atmosphere was electric and it's definitely one of the main reasons I wanted to join.

"It's a club that's aiming in the right direction, it's a club that wants to get to the Premier League and as a player that's where you want to be."

Winnall, whose deal at Oakwell was due to expire at the end of the season, has been one of the EFL's leading goalscorers since his tally of 23 helped Scunthorpe win promotion to League One in 2014.

He joined Barnsley for an undisclosed fee the following summer and scored 21 league goals last season as the Reds won promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.

This season Winnall, who progressed through Wolves' academy, has maintained his form in front of goal, scoring 11 in 22 games to prompt interest from several Championship clubs.

Wednesday had an initial offer, believed to be £500,000, turned down earlier in the week but returned with an improved bid to see off the reported interest of Norwich and Fulham.

Winnall joined Scunthorpe in the summer of 2013 following his release by Wolves and has also had loan spells at Burton, Hereford, Inverness and Shrewsbury.

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