BARNSLEY: Reds in the hunt for Oliver Norwood

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BARNSLEY are locked in a three-horse race to sign sought after Manchester United starlet Oliver Norwood.

The Star understands Coventry City and newly-promoted Huddersfield Town are also keen to sign the highly-rated midfielder.

Only last month the Reds had a £200,000 offer for the player rejected, but The Star understands that an improved £400,000 has now been accepted by United.

And if personal terms can be agreed between the player and club, the Reds hope to land Norwood on a two-year deal.

It was rumoured that Barnsley had two offers for Norwood rejected, but Reds director Don Rowing confirmed to The Star that this was not the case.

And with Reds boss Keith Hill hopeful a deal could be reached, it looks increasingly likely that the club could land their fourth summer signing if all goes to plan.

Former Manchester City midfielder Kelvin Etuhu, ex-Tottenham striker Mido and former Chelsea and Sheffield United midfielder Jacob Mellis have already been snapped up by Hill.

“We’ve agreed a fee for him [Norwood], but we’ve got to discuss personal terms so there’s still a long way to go,” Rowing told The Star.

“Keith wants to add a couple more players to his squad and he fits the bill.”

Burnley-born Norwood signed a professional contract with United in July 2009 having impressed for the club’s youth and academy sides.

Norwood, who has also represented Northern Ireland at Under-19 and senior level, played 18 times for the Sky Blues last term.

However, the Sky Blues were relegated to League One at the end of the season and it’s understood they don’t have as much bargaining power as the Reds and the Terriers, with Norwood keen to continue furthering his career in the Championship.

Hill is also keen to retain the services of gifted midfielder Jacob Butterfield and hopes the player will sign a new contract with the club despite rumoured interest from a number of Premier League sides.

Butterfield has been offered an improved deal to stay at Oakwell, but has yet to commit his future with any club.

“I’ve spoken to Jacob and encouraged him to stay, but it’s a bit of a conundrum for us at the moment because we’re also looking at other players,” added Hill.

Meanwhile, the Reds’ Championship clash at Blackburn Rovers has been brought forward 24 hours to Tuesday September 18.

The change is because Rovers have a television fixture against Middlesbrough in the same week.