Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel keeps options open as Middlesbrough continue to be linked

Oakwell hero: Daniel Stendel.
Oakwell hero: Daniel Stendel.
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BARNSLEY have spoken to head coach Daniel Stendel about a new deal – but the German is reluctant to commit until he receives assurances regarding squad strengthening.

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Barnsley's manager Daniel Stendel celebrates promotion after his team's match against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium. Picture: Darren Staples/PA

Barnsley's manager Daniel Stendel celebrates promotion after his team's match against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium. Picture: Darren Staples/PA

Stendel’s current contract runs out at the end of June, 2020, with the Reds having approached the 45-year-old and his representatives about him committing his future to a longer-term contract, The Yorkshire Post understands.

But, according to sources close to Stendel, he currently views it to be ‘not the right moment’ to sign any potential extension and is first waiting to see what transpires regarding squad recruitment this summer.

The former Hannover 96 head coach has been linked to the vacant positions at Championship duo Middlesbrough and Swansea City.

But his representatives insist he is fully focused on building upon his sterling first season in English football at Oakwell, which ended in a joyous promotion back to the second tier at the first time of asking following the club’s relegation at the end of 2017-18.

Stendel is keen for further success next season, although he is mindful that it will represent a tough task to consolidate back in the Championship, with Barnsley likely to be operating with one of the lowest playing budgets in the division.

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Stendel’s German-based representative said: “In regards to the speculation from other clubs, we saw in the betting industry that there were some rumours about Daniel going to other clubs.

“At the moment, I can only say that he is under contract at Barnsley for another year and is therefore concentrating on his Barnsley future.”

Stendel emerged as a surprise contender for the vacant Boro post at the weekend after shooting towards the top of the betting.

But the sources close to the north-east club insisted at the start of this week that they had not made contact with the German or his current employers.

Several external candidates remain under consideration for the Riverside position, with an announcement possible later this week as Boro chairman Steve Gibson assesses his options before coming to a final decision.

Former player and current coach Jonathan Woodgate, 39, is the sole internal candidate for the position and has been interviewed by club chiefs and has consistently figured at the top of the betting for several weeks.