Barnsley have been strongly linked with a move to sign former Brentford defender Alfie Mawson.
Mawson, 21, is currently a free agent having turned down the offer of a new two-year deal to stay with the Championship club.
Last season the highly-rated centre-half impressed in a 50-game loan spell with League Two Wycombe Wanderers, playing regularly in a side which narrowly missed out on promotion via the play-offs.
But fearful of a lack of games with the Brentford in the English second tier, the former Bees youth team graduate is understood to want a permanent move away from Griffin Park.
However, Swindon Town, Millwall and Bradford have also been linked with signing the player, which could make life difficult for the Reds in their attempt to land the player.
Reds’ boss Lee Johnson has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his defence, especially with skipper Martin Cranie having left the club at the end of last season.
Experienced centre-half Lewin Nyatanga has signed a new two-year deal to stay at Oakwell, while former Halifax Town centre-back Marc Roberts has been recruited on a three-year contract ahead of the new League One campaign.
Johnson is also building a young squad at Oakwell and Mawson, who also scored seven goals last season, fits the bill.
The former Maidenhead United, Luton Town and Welling Town defender won Wycombe’s Players’ Player of the Year award last season, as well as scooping the Supporters’ Player of the Year gong.
Mawson won many admirers during his prolonged loan spell at Adams Park, but it is now understood he wants to test himself at a higher level.
Meanwhile, Barnsley midfielder Josh Scowen has revealed last season’s club captain Cranie will be a “big” miss this season, but is confident the club’s ambitious young defenders can step up and be successful.
Young guns Mason Holgate, George Smith and James Bree are all tipped to feature heavily next season, with Holgate rumoured to have already attracted a number of potential suitors.
“We’ve got some talented young kids, I’m sure they’ll heave really benefited from the games they played last season,” said Scowen. “I’m sure they’ll get better this season.”