Barnsley make approach for 44-year-old EFL manager

Barnsley have made an approach for Cheltenham Town boss Michael Duff to potentially fill the managerial vacancy at Oakwell, according to GloucestershireLive.

The Tykes are currently without a head coach following the departure of Poya Asbaghi, with the Swede leaving late in the 2021-22 season after confirmation of Barnsley’s relegation to League One.

Under-23’s boss Martin Devaney, a former Cheltenham player himself like Duff, steered the ship for the final three Championship matches of the season, but it appears that the hierarchy at Oakwell have their sights set on Duff.

Quiz: Can you name which club Barnsley sold these 23 players to from the last decade?

Duff, who was a Northern Ireland international as a player and featured in the Premier League for Burnley, has been Cheltenham’s manager since September 2018, and guided the Robins to the third tier of English football by winning League Two in 2020-21.

Cheltenham finished in 15th position last season in League One, meaning that they will face Barnsley twice in the upcoming campaign, but Duff could potentially be in charge of the Tykes by then if their approach is successful, with only a ‘modest’ compensation fee due to Town due to the fact that the 44-year-old has just one year remaining on his contract.

The Verdict

Barnsley are quite clearly looking for someone with experience of League One, what with their interest in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and now Duff, and it would be a change of tactics from the more recent appointments they’ve made.

Just because an approach has been made though, it doesn’t mean that Duff will depart Whaddon Road, so Cheltenham fans should not be too worried right now.

Duff has a major connection to the club from his playing days and now as a manager, and he may see the Barnsley job as a sideways step considering they will be playing in the same league as the Robins next season.

It would be no surprise if Duff decided to stay put and sign a new contract at Cheltenham, which would mean Barnsley have to go back to square one.



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