BARNSLEY director Don Rowing is hopeful club skipper Jacob Butterfield will sign a new contract at Oakwell.
Butterfield has been offered a new two-and-a-half-year deal, having impressed since boss Keith Hill made the decision to award him the captain’s armband.
And some sparkling performances in midfield have also earned the 21-year-old his first international call-up to England Under-21s.
But with success comes plenty of attention and speculation that Butterfield, a former Academy scholar at Oakwell, could be tempted by a move when the transfer window re-opens.
Premier League Everton, Stoke City, Wolves and Sunderland are all rumoured to be interested, with Championship leaders Southampton also linked with the player.
But speaking exclusively to The Star, Rowing said: “We’ve made Jacob a substantial offer and we really hope he accepts it.
“At this stage we’ve had no interest from any clubs wanting to sign him. Jacob’s a Barnsley player and we want him to stay longer at the club. He’s done very well this season.
“Of course he’s going to attract attention with what he’s been doing on the pitch, but we believe we’ve offered him a very good deal and the chance of regular football.
“We would like to think that signing a contract would put his mind at rest and then he can continue performing well for us.
“But we’ve not had any communication back from the player at this stage and until then there’s not much we can do. It’s business as usual for Jacob at the moment.”
Butterfield’s current two-year deal expires this summer and Rowing admits that if his influential playmaker does put pen to paper to secure his future it is an early signal of the club’s intent moving forward.
“There’s no rush because Jacob’s contract doesn’t expire until this summer, but we can only make our offer and then the rest is down to the player,” added Rowing.
“But we’ve offered him a contract now because Keith Hill sees him as an important player in our development going forward - and the fans should understand we want to keep our best players because we’re ambitious.
“Jacob’s come on a lot this season. Purely from a playing point of view, he’s gone from being an impact substitute to being a regular in the team.
“It’s an ongoing process at the moment and we do hope Jacob signs, hopefully something comes to fruition.”
Former Barnsley player Frank Beaumont has died. Beaumont spent four seasons with the Reds between 1957 and 1961, scoring 37 goals in 107 appearances.