BARNSLEY: Board backing boss Keith Hill in hunt for new blood

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BARNSLEY director Don Rowing has told The Star that the club are working hard to line up summer signings.

A string of players have left Oakwell at the end of the season with their contracts expiring.

Only three have been offered new deals.

Defender Stephen Foster has agreed to sign a new one-year contract.

Winger Jim O’Brien is still mulling over his two-year deal, though the Scot is expected to sign.

But young midfielder Jacob Butterfield, who has been offered two improved contracts, is not likely to stay.

“Keith Hill (manager) has said he would like four or five new players, so we’re trying to support him in bringing those players into the club,” Rowing told The Star. “It’s very quiet at the moment because a lot of players are deciding what they want to do and sorting out their packages if they’re going to leave their current clubs.

“And it’s probably a lot quieter than usual because of the financial climate.

“There is not as much money about as maybe there was last season.”

The Reds have been linked with Manchester United midfield player Oliver Norwood, who spent five months on loan at Scunthorpe up to the end of January, and the rest of the season on loan at Coventry. He made a total of 33 Championship appearances this season.

The 21-year-old could be a direct replacement for Butterfield, though the Reds will probably have a fight on their hands, with other clubs believed to be keen on him.

“There are going to be a lot of players available over the summer, but I am sure a lot of business will get done, the closer to the start of the season we get,” added Rowing.

“That always seems to be the way these days.

“Players and agents hold out for the best deals they can get, but managers want to get their players in for pre-season. It’s a Catch 22 situation, but Keith has identified players he wants and hopefully we can sign them.”