Barnsley were left stunned when their highly-rated manager Paul Heckingbottom quit for Yorkshire rivals Leeds United just four days after signing a new rolling contract at Oakwell.
Heckingbottom had led the Tykes to promotion from League One back in 2016 in the same season that he guided them to Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success. And, while Barnsley have struggled somewhat this season with so many of their star players heading elsewhere, the 42-year-old’s departure leaves a huge void.
But could it be filled by a former Leeds boss?
Simon Grayson is one of the favourites to take over just a few months after he was sacked by Sunderland but the 48-year-old is not the only ex-Elland Road chief who is under consideration. It is understood via the Yorkshire Post that Neil Redfearn is also on the shortlist, and he would certainly be a popular appointment among much of the Barnsley fan base.
Redfearn, after all, is a bona fide club legend. He spent seven years at Oakwell between 1991 and 1997, scoring 17 goals from midfield to captain Barnsley to their first and only season in the Premier League in the mid-90s.
And his managerial career has taken him all over Yorkshire. He worked at Leeds between 2012 and 2015, spent an ill-fated spell at Rotherham United after leaving Elland Road and is now currently in charge of Woman’s Super League 2 side Doncaster Belles.
He has only been in charge of Doncaster Belles for six weeks, but the prospect of returning to his old stomping ground may be difficult to turn down.