Hill foiled in bid to buy Dawson

Barnsley FC
Barnsley FC
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BARNSLEY were keen to sign Leyton Orient midfielder Stephen Dawson, but have been unable to agree a deal for the player.

The Star understands that agreeing personal terms have so far been a stumbling block in a bid to recruit for the Dublin-born 26-year-old, a former Ireland Under-21 international.

Dawson has played for Mansfield and Bury before signing for the O’s in June 2010. He has since gone to make over 60 appearances for the League One club.

The Reds, meanwhile, have agreed “in principle” a deal to sign Norwich City midfielder Korey Smith on loan until February 25.

And the Oakwell club are also in talks with former Sheffield United midfielder Michael Tonge, with a view to signing the player on loan until the end of the season.

Speaking exclusively to The Star Reds’ director Don Rowing revealed: “We’ve agreed deals in principle for both players, they’re both likely to sign this week.

“Nothing’s signed just yet but hopefully they’ll be in the club this week and we can get some contracts signed.”

The double swoop from Reds boss Keith Hill comes quickly after losing captain Jacob Butterfield for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Manchester United loan midfielder Danny Drinkwater joined Leicester City on a permanent deal last week having originally been signed on loan until the end of the season.

And so it was understandable Hill moved quickly to strengthen his squad with games approaching thick and fast in the Championship over the coming weeks.

Smith, aged 20, was a key player in the Canaries’ 2009-10 Championship promotion-winning team, but has played just once this season with the club having been promoted to the Premier League.

However Smith, a former Sunday League player, is highly-regarded at Carrow Road and has a deal with the club until 2013.

He’s a former Canaries’ Academy captain and has played nearly 70 times for the club having been discovered as a rising amateur star.

Stoke’s Tonge, a former Manchester United youth team player, made 237 appearances for the Blades before joining the Potters on a £2million deal in 2008.

However, the 28-year-old has struggled to command a regular starting place at the Britannia Stadium and not played for manager Tony Pulis’ team this season.

Manchester-born Tonge has had two loan spells with Preston North End this season and spent a brief spell at Derby County.

He has European experience having played for the Potters in the Europa League.