Lewin Nyatanga has yet to commit his future to Barnsley despite being offered a two-year deal to stay.
The Star understands the experienced defence, arguably one of the Reds’ best players last season, is still weighing up his options.
If a Championship club were to come calling then it is highly likely the centre-back will opt for a jump in divisions.
A two-year deal is on the table and The Star understands the option of a third year has been discussed to try and get the player to sign on the dotted line.
The promising Mason Holgate is expected to be given a chance at centre-back next season, with new signing Marc Roberts also now in the frame.
But Reds’ boss Lee Johnson wants Nyatanga and one more centre-back to give himself cover at the back.
Meanwhile Reds defender George Smith believes the club’s Academy system will blood plenty stars of the future over the coming years.
John Stones has been the most high-profile youngster to graduate through the Oakwell youth ranks.
His recognition for the England senior side and for Premier League Everton is proof that players can go all the way to the top.
And Smith, alongside fellow young guns Holgate and James Bree, would love to follow in Stones’ footsteps.
“You can see what our Academy is all about. Our Academy Manager Ronnie Branson and [Head of Academy Coaching] Mark Burton always bring talent through,” said Smith.
“It’s always in abundance with those two here and, who knows, one day the first team could be full of academy youngsters.
“The Academy lads have shown that we will be able to compete next season regardless of who we play.”
“Whoever comes in it will be great for competition for places next season.”