Barnsley chief executive Ben Mansford has told the Barnsley Chronicle that defender Mason Holgate has rejected the offer of a new contract.
Holgate, 18, has come up through the ranks at Oakwell, establishing himself in the Tykes' first team last season with 22 appearances to his name.
Primarily a right back, Holgate has impressed during his in the Barnsley starting line-up, and as with most emerging Football League teenagers, interest in his signature is growing.
The Sun reported on Saturday that Holgate was close to joining Aston Villa, with manager Tim Sherwood in desperate need of new full backs this summer.
The chances of Holgate completing that move to Villa Park have increased, with Barnsley chief executive Mansford telling the Barnsley Chronicle that Holgate has rejected a new deal to stay with the League One club.
"Mason has rejected our offer of a new contract which is on parity with the contracts signed by some of our best young players in recent years," said Mansford. "He is a very young boy with great potential. We feel it is right for him to stay at Barnsley but we need him to feel the same," he added.
Villa in the clear?
Given recent speculation, it seems like Aston Villa are way out in front to secure Holgate's signature - but they are far from the only club to be linked with a move for him.
The Mirror reported back in December that Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur were all monitoring Holgate's progress in Yorkshire ahead of potential bids for the full back.
For Villa to land the teenager would be something of a coup for Sherwood considering the other clubs interested in his signature, and it seems that a move to Villa Park is drawing ever closer for Holgate, who will surely be considered as one for the future rather than an immediate first team star.