BARNSLEY centre-half Ethan Pinnock has completed a £3m move to Championship rivals Brentford - following on from the recent departure of fellow key defender Liam Lindsay.
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The Reds had been speaking to Pinnock, outstanding in 2018-19 for the Oakwell club in a promotion campaign which saw him named in the League One Team of the Season, regarding a new contract for a number of weeks.
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The former Forest Green player was contracted at the club until next summer, with Barnsley keen to agree a contract extension.
But Pinnock has rebuffed the Reds' offer of a lucrative deal - understood to be worth around £10,000 per week and the club, conscious of his contractual situation, have taken the decision to reluctantly cash in and sell the 26-year-old.
Pinnock underwent a medical with the Bees - linked with the Londoner in the January transfer window - today and he has now completed his move back to the capital.
He has signed a three-year deal with an option of an extra year.
Forest Green have an undisclosed sell-on clause and will receive a payment.
Co-chairman Paul Conway said: “We would like to thank Ethan for his dedication to the club for the last two seasons and wish him well.
"All proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in the squad in this transfer window.
"We offered Ethan a number of contract extensions but unfortunately, we were not able to convince him to stay. As I have stated before, the club will sell a player with less than one year left on their contract if they will not accept our contract extension offer.
"We believe we have mitigated this issue of shorter term contracts, as in the last 18 months and going forward most of the young players we have acquired have been signed to four or five-year deals."
Barnsley are pressing ahead with deals to sign two young defenders to help fill the considerable void vacated by Pinnock.
Leeds United centre-half Aapo Halme, 21, is a target, with the club also thought to be close to signing another young defender from the lower divisions.
Finland-born Halme, a former FJK Helsinki player, made five appearances for Leeds last term.
The departure of Pinnock represents the third significant exit from the club so far this season, with two of the club's other promotion heroes in the shape of Adam Davies and Lindsay having linked up with Stoke City.
Lindsay moved to the Potteries for a fee rising to £2.5m.