BARNSLEY: Reds ready to step up striker search

Loan target: Callum McManaman is on Barnsley's radar
Loan target: Callum McManaman is on Barnsley's radar
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BARNSLEY have stepped up their search for a new striker and have identified Reading’s Simon Church and Wigan’s Callum McManaman as potential loan targets.

But The Star understands the Reds are very unlikely to conclude any business before tomorrow’s home clash with Hull City.

Wales international Church is contracted to the Royals until 2013, but has struggled to cement a regular starting place in Brian McDermott’s side.

The 23-year-old has had previous loan spells at Crewe, Yeovil, Wycombe and Leyton Orient. He has played just one match this season.

Church was a late substitute in the Royals epic 7-5 defeat to Arsenal in the Captial One Cup in midweek.

McManaman had a three-month loan spell with Blackpool towards the end of last season, but the 21-year-old has also struggled for first team football and started only twice for the Latics this term. He has also featured four times as a substitute.

Reds boss Keith Hill is hungry to bolster his strikeforce with leading scorer Craig Davies sidelined with a hamstring injury, while fellow forwards Marlon Harewood and Chris Dagnall have struggled to produce their best form this season.

Former Nottingham Forest forward Harewood has scored once in 13 appearances this season, although eight of those matches were as a substitute.

And it’s been a similar story for ex-Rochdale striker Dagnall who has managed only two goals in nine starts.

Promising young striker Danny Rose has featured three times as substitute but cannot be expected to take a considerable slice of responsibility of getting the goals Hill knows his side need to help them be successful.

The big loss so far this season has been that of Egyptian striker Mido.

The former Tottentham Hotspur marksman has not played a single game due to a long-standing hamstring injury. Mido has enough experience and quality to be a success in the Championship, so it’s little surprise Hill wants him fit to show what he can do. But for now the Reds manager is pursuing Church and McManaman as potential new recruits.

Hill has revealed he is a big admirer of Nottingham Forest and former Sheffield Wednesday striker Marcus Tudgay, but the player is currently recovering from a double hernia operation.

And Hill is also keen on signing Owls centre forward Chris O’Grady, although any possible deal is more than likely to be done in January if the two clubs can agree a free for the player.

Striker Davies and teenage midfielder Paul Digby are both missing for the visit of the Tigers.