Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TARGET UP FOR GRABS; but Boro Face Battle for Tyke Butterfield Mowbray Target Is Available

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TARGET UP FOR GRABS; but Boro Face Battle for Tyke Butterfield Mowbray Target Is Available

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE

BORO target Jacob Butterfield has been told he can leave Barnsley at the end of the season.

The highly-rated 21-year-old midfielder is currently recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury and hasn't played since December.

Tykes manager Keith Hill had been hopeful of convincing his young skipper, who is being chased by several Premier League and Championship clubs, to sign a new deal but is now resigned to losing him.

Boro have been keeping tabs on Butterfield, but know they face a battle to win his signature and the club's chances may well come down to the success or otherwise of their stuttering promotion campaign.

Hill said: "We've offered him a good deal, but in my opinion he won't accept it. He will leave the football club, probably for the Premier League."

Although Butterfield can leave under freedom of contract, because he is aged under 23, Barnsley will receive compensation, which may have to be decided by a tribunal.

Hill values his key man in the region of pounds 3m but doesn't expect to be awarded that amount when he leaves.

"There's no fee guaranteed," he told the BBC, "so we'll probably have to take it to a tribunal.

"In my opinion he's worth pounds 3m. Will we get that amount? Absolutely not.

"By the time a tribunal sorts out how much we're going to get for him it'll be the middle of August or later."

Tony Mowbray is hoping to give his squad a huge summer overhaul and defence is another area that will require a great deal of attention.

Justin Hoyte is out of contract in the summer and is expected to move on unless he can be convinced to accept much reduced terms.

Skipper Matthew Bates' current deal also ends at the end of June and his future is very much up in the air. …

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