THE Star understands that Leyton Orient midfielder Stephen Dawson will sign for the club today.
But leading scorer Ricardo Vaz Te has been given permission to speak to West Ham and could Oakwell before the transfer deadline shuts tonight.
O’s skipper Dawson has agreed to sign for an undisclosed fee and agreed to a deal which will keep him at Oakwell until 2014.
The two clubs could not initially agree a fee for the player and personal terms were a stumbling block, with Reds boss Keith Hill admitting that he thought he might have to wait until the summer to recruit the 26-year-old.
But late last night a new deal was struck and Dawson was due at Oakwell today for a medical and stood an outside chance of being included in the club’s home Championship club.
However, 12-goal hitman Vaz Te, who has been a revelation at Oakwell since Hill gave him the chance to resurrect his career, looks very likely to be on his way out.
The Reds turned down an initial offer for the player but, according to Reds’ director Don Rowing, have been “held over a barrel” to sell the player.
“We really want to keep Ricardo but he doesn’t want to sign a new contract so there’s nothing much I can do,” Rowing told The Star.
“If we don’t sell him now then we won’t get a fee for him because his contract is up in the summer and he’d be free to leave.
“It will be a real shame if he does leave, but we’ve tried everything we can to keep him.
“We offered him a really good deal but he’s tempted by the chance to play for West Ham because they’re looking like they might get back in the Premier League next season.”
And so if Vaz Te does go then the Reds might go in search of a new striker, whether it be on a permanent move before the transfer window shuts or after today when the loan window re-opens.
Exclusive by Neil Goulding