Leeds United eye EFL free agent deal as Ex-Premier League striker tips Barnsley to beat Sunderland and Portsmouth to promotion plus updates on Blackpool and Coventry - League One and Two

Former West Ham United striker Dean Ashton believes Barnsley deserve to beat Sunderland and Portsmouth to automatic promotion.
Former West Ham United and England striker Dean AshtonFormer West Ham United and England striker Dean Ashton
Former West Ham United and England striker Dean Ashton

Daniel Stendel's men currently occupy second behind Luton Town, although Ashton, speaking to Football League World, also thinks the Tykes will do well to see it through.

He said: “I think out of all of them, Barnsley perhaps deserve to join Luton in the top two, just because they have put a consistent run together and they lost their top scorer along the way.

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“That can hurt a side but for them to still be right in there after that, you have to say they deserve it, but I’ve got a feeling they might just miss out.”

Sunderland are among a host of clubs chasing Oldham Athletic defender George Edmundson, according to Football Insider.

A source close to the 21-year-old says the Black Cats, alongside Stoke City and Preston North End, have regularly watched the player and are now weighing up a swoop.

Edmundson is entering the final year of his contract at the Latics, who "are bracing themselves for offers for their prize asset this summer".

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Meanwhile, Everton youngster Michael Collins is on trial at the Stadium of Light after featuring for their under-18s against Manchester City on Saturday.

In order Sunderland news, boss Jack Ross has been shortlisted for the Scotland job after an SFA board meeting.

The Daily Record understands chief executive Ian Maxwell is set to share his recommendations and establish the cost and availability of a number of potential targets.

It is believed Ross is on the list alongside the likes of Aberdeen's Derek McInnes, Kilmarnock’s Steve Clarke, former Manchester United boss David Moyes.

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Scotland under-21s head coach Scot Gemmill also remains firmly in the running with another in-house option - performance director Malky Mackay.

Coventry City striker Conor Chaplin is convinced Portsmouth will finish second ahead of Barnsley and Sunderland.

The former Pompey man was a member of the Blues squad that claimed the League Two title, two years ago.

A run of 10 wins from the final 12 fixtures earned that crown – and he is adamant the current crop can follow suit.

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You read what Chaplin said HERE after the Sky Blues' 2-1 defeat to Kenny Jackett's side on Easter Monday.

Blackpool forward Nathan Delfouneso has revealed talks are ongoing between his “people” and the club over a new contract.

His current deal expires at the end of the season but the 28-year-old says he is confident of signing on a fresh contract as long as “everything is right”.

Delfouneso has made 43 appearances this season, scoring seven times - his latest strike winning three points in Monday’s last-gasp 2-1 home win over Fleetwood Town.

You can read the full story via the Blackpool Gazette HERE.

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In League Two, Forest Green Rovers are believed to have received an approach from Leeds United for Reece Brown, as per Football Insider.

Brown is out of contract this summer, meaning it is not just Leeds who are willing to fight for his signature.

Championship rivals Bristol City and Reading are reportedly keen, though the Whites are credited with the stronger interest.

Brown would only cost a minimal compensation fee to interested suitors as he is under the age of 24.

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Lincoln City loanee Danny Rowe expects Ipswich Town to want him back in the summer following the Imps' promotion to League One.

Rowe also admitted he'd be open to joining Danny Cowley's side on a permanent basis next season.

“From what I’m hearing I think Ipswich might want me back in the summer,” he told BBC Radio Lincolnshire

“... I get on well with all the boys and there’s a great manager so obviously, I would be open to coming back here depending on what football I’d be guaranteed elsewhere.

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"For me I’d love to be back here, but we’ll have to see what happens.”

Notts County are one step closer to a takeover after a South African consortium completed their due diligence process.

According to the Nottingham Post, they are aiming to have officially completed the deal before the middle of May.

That said, an announcement that they will succeed chairman Alan Hardy as the club’s new owners could be made this week.

Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite denied reports that he was planning on making an offer for League Two's bottom side.