Barnsley forced to look elsewhere as target appears set for Championship

Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst during the Sky Bet League One Final at Wembley Stadium
Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst during the Sky Bet League One Final at Wembley Stadium
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Barnsley are set to miss out on Paul Hurst as their hunt for a manager goes on.

The Reds have been without a boss since the final day of the season when the club parted company with Jose Morais after their relegation to League One was confirmed.

Oakwell’s top brass whittled the potential names down to a shortlist, which is now believed to be just three - Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth, former player Grant McCann and Shrewsbury gaffer Hurst.

However, Barnsley have seemingly been pipped to Hurst - who looks set to join Ipswich Town in the Championship.

The Portman Road club confirmed they have been given permission by the League One outfit to talk to the manager, with a compensation package for his services already agreed.

Hurst came a step short of taking Shrewsbury to the Championship for the first time, with a gutting play-off final defeat in extra time to Rotherham United at the weekend.

The Reds board are keen to talk to Ainsworth, who has impressed with the job he has done at Wycombe.

Ainsworth secured the Chairboys automatic promotion back to League One despite working on a thin budget.

Barnsley were denied the chance to talk to the up-and-coming manager when Wycombe rejected their approach when looking to appoint Paul Heckingbottom’s replacement in February.

On the other hand, McCann has only had three years of managerial experience - at Peterborough.

He initially took the job on a caretaker basis before being given it permanently at the end of his first season in charge.

Former boss Heckingbottom has been installed as the fourth favourite for the job amongst the bookies with his Leeds United future growing increasingly uncertain.

However, it is understood an unlikely return to his boyhood club is out of the question after the circumstances in which he left for bitter rivals Leeds last term.

Heckingbottom’s improved deal at Oakwell was only announced three days before he jumped ship for the Elland Road job.