Video: Barnsley looking to tie up several players on new deals

PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM has revealed that Barnsley have held '˜initial discussions' with a number of players whose deals expire in the summer - with the talks '˜ongoing'.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Several key personnel, including captain Conor Hourihane and last season’s top-scorer Sam Winnall, are out of contract in June with their future expected to increasingly come under the microscope in the new year.

Heckingbottom has acknowledged that an option for players is to run down their deals, but talks will continue.

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Heckingbottom, whose side welcome Nottingham Forest in a televised game at Oakwell tomorrow, said: “There have been initial approaches from the club to players saying: ‘look we are going to be offering you a new deal.’

Barnsley's Conor Hourihane. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“But that will be ongoing. It was more a case of us letting the players know we appreciate what they have done and giving them that security that they know something is here for them, if you like.

“Whether they sign it or not will be another matter and that will be the thing that can rumble on as players can play themselves into a real strong position and we knew that as a club.

“They might have put themselves in a position where they want to sit their contracts out and see what happens in the summer. If the club cannot tie them down, that might be the case.”

Stefan Payne is back in training following a broken foot, with the club’s medical staff continuing to nurse Aidy White back to fitness following stomach surgery with no timescale put on when he will return to the fray.

Barnsley's Conor Hourihane. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe