The Barnsley chief executive officer Dane Murphy has addressed speculation linking his players with late-window moves to Championship rivals Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers and Middlesbrough.
Cardiff were credited with an interest in both Cauley Woodrow (Wales Online, among others) and Alex Mowatt (Football League World), while the latter player was also listed as a target for QPR and Middlesbrough by the same publication.
The pair ultimately remained at Barnsley beyond the deadline for domestic transfers, with Woodrow – for whom the Bluebirds were said to be willing to pay £2 million – even extending his contract until 2023.
Asked if the striker came close to leaving Oakwell, Murphy told The Yorkshire Post: “A few teams came in, actually. Cardiff were probably the most aggressive. But in the end, they never even got close to something that we would evaluate or take seriously.
“Cauley is such an important player, both on and off the field. It did not make any sense to let him go and we wanted to keep him in-house. That’s why we added to his current contract and he has looked great since signing that contract.”
Murphy later confirmed that Woodrow’s former club Fulham do have a sell-on clause, but insisted that ‘has not inhibited our decision-making’.
Mowatt, it seems, was much less likely to leave in the window just gone.
But with his contract due to expire at the end of this season, there could be an opportunity for the likes of Cardiff, QPR or Middlesbrough to land a cut-price deal in January.
Asked if there was interest in the Barnsley captain, Murphy said: “We had a couple of calls. But nothing officially came through to us. We had a few ‘feelers’ for Alex throughout the window. That’s as far as it got.
“We are still speaking to Alex and his representatives. In the past, we were far apart, but we have had some (new) conversations. We haven’t discussed, as a group, something in January. Alex is a core piece and we will try and find a solution. If we don’t, we expect him to play out his contract at Barnsley as he is our captain and key element.”
Fans of Cardiff, QPR and Middlesbrough – how good a signing would Woodrow/Mowatt have been?