Barnsley beat Rotherham United in race to sign Walsall's Tom Bradshaw

BARNSLEY have won the race to sign Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw.

David Edgar of Sheffield United tussles with Tom Bradshaw of Walsall.

The 23-year-old striker netted 20 goals in League One last season and was part of the Saddlers side convincingly beaten by Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds in the play-off semi-finals.

Rotherham United had shown early interest in Bradshaw and were understood to have bid £500,000 for the Welsh international.

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However, Barnsley made their own approach a couple of weeks ago and followed this up with an ‘undisclosed’ offer, understood to be around £600,000.

The Shrewsbury-born striker, who has been capped by Wales, passed a medical on Thursday and signed a three-year deal at Oakwell

Reds head coach Paul Heckingbottom said: “Tom will fit in well with our playing philosophy.

“We want to play two up front and Tom will add undoubted strength to our strike force. He is a clever player with an eye for goal.

“I am sure he will become a fans’ favourite.”

Bradshaw said he was impressed with Barnsley’s style of play last season in League One, and had no hesitation in moving north from the Saddlers.

He said: “I was very impressed with Barnsley last year.

“The service to the strikers was outstanding. When the chance to join Barnsley came, I jumped at the chance.

“I like the playing style and I am sure I will fit in. I am raring to go.”

Bradshaw’s arrival will bolster a forward line that already includes Sam Winnall and Marley Watkins, plus new signings Elliot Lee, Kayden Jackson and Stefan Payne as Heckingbottom continues to build towards the new Championship season.

For Rotherham, the Millers refused to get in a bidding war with Barnsley.

Millers chairman Tony Stewart said: “We had been aware of Bradshaw for a while and then heard Barnsley were in for him a couple of weeks ago.

“We thought we had the deal bagged and done, but then Walsall came back, said there was a late bidder and would we would increase our offer?

“At that point, you think: ‘Okay, what do we do now?’ I asked the manager (Alan Stubbs) if he thought the player was worth more than our last bid and he said ‘no’. Other clubs may think differently about what a player is worth and, of course, we respect that.”

Elsewhere in the second tier, Leeds United boss Garry Monk is happy to spend more time on the training ground rather than play in pre-season friendlies.

United kicked off pre-season with a 2-1 victory over Shelbourne on Wednesday, claiming the win through goals from Souleymane Doukara and Hadi Sacko.

Wednesday’s match is one of only five organised by Monk this summer, including meetings with Guiseley and Peterborough United in the space of 24 hours next weekend, but he has no plans to arrange any further games before Leeds host Atalanta at Elland Road on the last Saturday before the start of the season.

Six new signings have arrived at Elland Road since Monk’s appointment, a tally offset by a number of departures.

Monk said: “The number of game we’ve got suits what I do better, from my experience. In terms of the games we’ve arranged, there are more than enough for us as it is. It’s more than enough to allow us to prepare the team.

“When you come in as a new manager, you’re trying to get a lot of things, a lot of information, over to a group of players who haven’t worked with you before. You need time to do that and the best place to do it is on the training pitch.

“If we pack out the summer with games then we’ll spend a lot of days in between recovering and we won’t be on the training field enough. That’s where we need to be because that’s what will make the most difference.”

Leeds’s Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday have suffered a serious blow with the news that captain Glenn Loovens could miss the opening month of the new season.

The Dutch defender has undergone surgery on a long-standing ankle injury that could keep him out for six to eight weeks.

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal said: “It is, of course, not good news for us because Glenn is the captain of the team and an important player. It is a small problem that he felt last season.

“It is not the end of the world because he will be back with us soon. He has a very good personality and is a fighter.”

Hull City, meanwhile, are still yet to hear from the Football Association as to whether Steve Bruce is on the shortlist to replace Roy Hodgson as England manager.

The formal process to find a new Three Lions chief is under way and Sam Allardyce met FA representatives on Tuesday.

Bruce is also believed to be on the radar of the game’s governing body but City have confirmed there has been no official approach for the 55-year-old, who flew back yesterday with his squad from the club’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.

In League One, Bradford City have sold 16,000 season tickets for the new season as the deadline to take advantage of the cut-price £149 offer looms.

The Bantams are hoping to match last term’s tally of 18,000 before the cut-off point this Sunday.

York City’s return to the National League will be shown live by BT Sport after the Saturday, August 6 trip to Maidstone United was selected for live transmission with a 12.15pm kick-off.

Guiseley’s trip to Tranmere Rovers on Monday August 29 will also be shown live by BT Sport.