Barnsley: Reds face battle to hold on to star defender, admits Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley captain Marc Roberts rises for a header against Brentford
Barnsley captain Marc Roberts rises for a header against Brentford
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Barnsley are facing a real battle to hold on to star defender and skipper Marc Roberts.

Earlier this week Reds boss Paul Heckingbottom stressed that there had been no bids for the player.

But yesterday Heckingbottom revealed that two Championship clubs have now made offers for the centre-back, both of which have been rejected. The Star understands the Reds rejected a £3.5milllion bid for the 26-year-old from Burnley in the January transfer window, but the club kept their man.

And it is understood that Birmingham City have lodged a second bid for the player having had a first bid declined.

The Blues are believed to be the front-runners in the chase for the former Halifax Town man, who still has a year remaining on his Oakwell contract.

Roberts won the Star’s Barnsley Player of the Season award last term and Heckingbottom is desperate to keep him having lost a string of top stars during the last 12 months following the club’s memorable promotion back to the Championship.

Heckingbottom admitted: “We have had bids in for Robbo. So that is something that is ongoing. But until we get something that is right for us a club, then it is pointless doing anything.

“He is our captain and did excellent for us last season, so we need to make sure we replace him before we let him go.

“Clubs are getting in touch with us and it’s moving. He’s a good player, but everyone knows he’s a good player.”

The Reds are understood to have made bids for Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie and Blackpool midfielder Brad Potts, but Heckingbottom ruled out any bids for defender Andy Yiadom.

“We’re close on a number of players, but it’s a case of getting them over the line,” revealed Heckingbottom.

“We know all about Oliver. He scores goals and he’s someone who has stood out to us. He’s someone we’ve been looking at.

“He [Brad] stood out last season as well, for goals and assists. But he’s Blackpool’s player, even though we know all about him.

“Our priority [in signing players] is getting in a left-back, strikers and wide men.

“Ideally I’d like to bring a good number of players in, we’re light up top.

“I hope we can get some more players in before we go to Hungary [on a pre-season trip 3-8 July].

“If we’re still needing big numbers by the time we get back, then we’re limiting their chances of starting the season with us. There’s only five weeks to go now.”

Meanwhile, former Barnsley midfielder Kelvin Etuhu has joined Carlisle United on a two-year deal. Etuhu made over 50 appearances for the Reds.