But the Reds supremo remains relaxed about the situation and is confident that the Frenchman sees his future at Oakwell.
Ismael, appointed on a three-year deal in October, has dramatically transformed Barnsley from early-season Championship relegation candidates to promotion contenders – and boasts a remarkable 62 per cent win ratio.
According to reports, the 45-year-old will be one of the names on Crystal Palace’s managerial shortlist if Roy Hodgson – out of contract in the summer – leaves at the end of the season.
Ismael spent a short spell in his playing career at Selhurst Park in the late Nineties.
Murphy told The Yorkshire Post: “There is, of course, going to be interest and suitors for Valerien. But we have him on multiple years and he has not given one iota of a hint that he wants to be anywhere else. We want to keep him here as long as we possibly can.
“For any coach – especially with Barnsley and having the financial model we have – there is ability for movement. But we are so far adrift of anything like that with Valerien. He is so focused on the job in hand and really believes in the project in Barnsley and I think that belief is showing with the results.”
While the feats of Ismael are beginning to resonate in the corridors of power at other clubs, it should come as no surprise that those of a number of the Reds’ key players are as well.
Very much in that bracket is in-form striker Daryl Dike, whose eye-catching accomplishments have put him on the radar of several Premier League clubs.
The Orlando City loanee is contracted to Barnsley for the rest of the season, with the Reds having a buy-out option to sign him permanently in the summer.
Speaking ahead of Middlesbrough’s recent game at Barnsley, Boro chief Neil Warnock stated that the buyout was £17m, which is well wide of the mark, according to Murphy.
But, equally, the fee would represent a significant financial commitment all the same.
Murphy, who revealed that the club are in contract renewal talks with certain unnamed players, commented: “I think we have to see where we are at the end of the season, financially.
“We have to make sure that our preparation takes place for next season – what division, we are not sure yet – but we are obviously considering Daryl in both respects.
“The figure is almost like an organism and grows and grows. But that is for other people to speculate and comment on. It is fun to watch from afar when you know what it is behind the scenes. But Neil’s quote is a bit off, you can say that!
“I, or anyone else, would be lying if they said Daryl’s performances have not brought a certain amount – and another echelon – of new suitors. It is a testament to him, but also the team in that Daryl has been able to come in so smoothly.
“Daryl and his team-mates have been able to push themselves to another level and now Daryl is reaping the rewards in terms of scoring goals and helping us win games. So there are clubs quite interested.”
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