Barnsley FC boss Neill Collins on whether leading Reds stars will be distracted in January transfer window plus Devante Cole vow

AHEAD of just his second transfer window at Barnsley, Neill Collins already knows what to expect.

As night follows day, the future of some key players will come under the microscope. It's been a common theme at Oakwell over a number of years.

Come January, speculation will intensify regarding leading stars, three of whom are due to see their deals expire in June in top-scorer Devante Cole, captain Jordan Williams and schemer Herbie Kane.

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A window is also never a window without rumours surrounding Callum Styles, with the Hungary midfielder mindful that an international tournament is taking place next summer.

Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Regarding his players coming off contract who have yet to agree fresh terms and whether the next window will be a distraction, Collins provides some logical insight.

The Reds head coach said: "The one thing I have always found is that with a player coming out of contract, it can really motivate someone and (or) make someone else anxious.

"So there’s no hard and fast fact that ‘this guy is out of contract, he’s not going to try - or he’s going to try really hard.’ Everyone is very different.

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"Some players love the stability and some need the pressure of having to perform. I think we have got guys in different situations.

"My biggest thing is that everybody does their best for Barnsley Football Club, individually they will achieve their own aims.

"The biggest thing is that we win games for Barnsley."

It is fair to say that any potential loss of Cole, in particular, would be the one most keenly felt by the League One play-off chasers.

Collins remains upbeat and has stressed that only a ‘serious sum of money’ would force the club to part company with the talismanic striker next month.

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Cole has excelled for the club in the last season and a half and is top-scorer this term with 12 league goals, having hit 16 goals in all competitions in 2022-23.

He was the subject of interest late on in the summer window from Championship clubs and is highly likely to be a target for a number of sides in the new year, with his current deal ending in the summer and a new contract having not yet been signed.

Speaking to journalists about the future of Cole in January, Collins added: "I get the impression that this is the start of many questions like this and I hope Devante goes on to score a lot more goals between now and then and that will mean I am asked even more.

"But ultimately, I think it would take a serious sum of money, regardless of the contract situation, for us to part with Devante with what we are trying to achieve this season.

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"He is an integral part in that and it’s just something we will have to deal with, but I am convinced that Devante will continue to score goals for Barnsley and do his best and whatever comes between now and the end of the season, we will deal with."

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