Barnsley winger Hammill is hunted down by Wolves

BARNSLEY winger Adam Hammill is on the brink of a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in a £500,000 deal after Wolves manager Mick McCarthy made a personal check on his form nine days ago against Coventry City.

Hammill is expected to sign a contract worth in the region of 20,000 a week.

His departure will be a setback for the Tykes but not totally unexpected due to a get-out clause in his Oakwell deal.

It will be the biggest transfer deal in Yorkshire since the opening of the New Year transfer window.

Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City, Leeds United and Everton have also been linked with a move for Hammill this month but former Barnsley defender McCarthy, now in his fifth year in charge at Molineux, looks to have won the battle for his signature.

Hammill, 22, joined Barnsley two summers ago from Liverpool, snubbing an offer to join Yorkshire rivals Leeds in the process.

During his 17-month stay at Oakwell, he has become a firm favourite with Barnsley fans and scored 13 goals in 83 appearances.

Ironically, the timing of the proposed move coincides with a row between Barnsley's general manager Don Rowing and Gordon Taylor, chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), over the alarming growth in players' wages.

Rowing is unhappy that the PFA do not support the return of a salary cap and has labelled comments made this week by Taylor as 'irresponsible' and 'disrespectful' to clubs.

It is 50 years ago this month, that English football abolished the 20 maximum weekly wage amid a threat of strike action from the PFA.

Remuneration in the English game has now spiralled out of control, however, with several top internationals banking over 200,000 a week at Premier League clubs.

Taylor believes the 50th anniversary should serve to remind people of an "important principle" that "footballers, like any profession, should not have to earn only what an employer wants to pay them".

Rowing, who is also a Barnsley director, said: "Perhaps Gordon should draw his office curtains, open his door, and step out into the real world.

"To make a statement of this nature is not only irresponsible but shows a total lack of respect to the owners, chairmen and directors of clubs.

"My view is that footballers, like any profession, should earn what an employer can afford to pay them. Why Gordon thinks that his members should be treated in a different way to employees in other industries – particularly in the current economic climate – serves only to further alienate the supporters from the players and their clubs.

"A lot of football supporters are facing redundancy right now – but you won't see many professional footballers in the dole queue.

"All clubs are struggling financially – which is why a lot of clubs are going into administration – but Gordon Taylor is encouraging players to seek money that their employers cannot afford and should not be making rash statements.

"He is not thinking about the good of the game as a whole, he is thinking about improving things for his members."

Barnsley rely heavily on financial support from owner Patrick Cryne and are unable to compete with the financial muscle of many other clubs in the Championship let alone the Premier League.

Despite the obstacles, manager Mark Robins has still been able to assemble a squad that is capable of pushing for play-off qualification.

Although Robins wants Hammill to stay, money from the sale would provide further room for manoeuvre in the transfer market this month.

Robins has already signed Lincoln City defender Kern Miller on an 18-month deal and extended defender Kieran Trippier's loan move from Manchester City until the end of the season.

Defender Matt Hill's loan move from Wolves expired at the weekend but is set to be extended.

Teenage striker Jamil Adam, meanwhile, has been released after failing to realise his potential at Oakwell.

Adam, 19, joined Barnsley four years ago after leaving the Manchester City youth academy.

He made three first-team appearances as substitute and represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-19 level.

Only last week, Barnsley also allowed striker Liam Dickinson to join Rochdale until the end of the season.

Barnsley's trip to Millwall, which was postponed before Christmas due to snow, has been rescheduled for Friday, January 28, kick-off 7.45pm.