Barnsley boss dismisses speculation over Conor Hourihane and Marc Roberts bids

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BARNSLEY head coach Paul Heckingbottom has stressed that the club have received no fresh bids for any of their contracted players.

Speculation has suggested that Burnley have lined up a £3.5m move for defender Marc Roberts, while a number of Championship clubs including Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa are keen on in-demand captain Conor Hourihane.

Centre-half Angus MacDonald has also been linked with Norwich City, while a number of top-flight clubs have been credited with an interest in right-back James Bree, but Heckingbottom says that the rumours are currently just speculation.

Heckingbottom, hopeful that Roberts could return from a hip issue in Saturday's home derby with Leeds United, said: "Nothing has changed. There has been lots of lots of speculation and I have seen the social media out there and there are some good ones..

"There is speculation and people are talking and I cannot deny that. But most of it is just speculation and the club just deal with things when it becomes official or if it does and is something they would to progress and look into. Apart from that, it is just speculation."

Confirming that no players have officially tabled any transfer requests, he said: "None have. But I don't know what has gone off behind the scenes with them or their agents. Their agents need to remember the players need to focus and play well. I have said before that the players will get their moves if they want them."

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom will assess how Everton loanee Gethin Jones does in his loan spell at Oakwell, before deciding to make a move to sign the 21-year-old on a full-time basis in the summer, conscious that the Welshman is out of contract at Goodison Park at the end of the season.

Heckingbottom, 'hopeful' of another addition before the weekend, said: "It is a loan until the end of the season and we will have to see what happens."