Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber

Barnsley are plotting a move to sign highly-rated Stockport County defender Festus Arthur, Football Insider understands.

The powerful centre-half has earned rave reviews for the National League outfit this season, establishing himself as a mainstay under Jim Gannon despite being just 18-years-old.

A source at Barnsley has told Football Insider that the Tykes view Arthur as a star in the making and they are hoping to steal a march on their rivals by setting up a move to Oakwell.

It is understood the 6ft 3in defender’s potential has alerted a number of Football League sides with scouts from a host of clubs making regular trips to Edgeley Park to make checks on the teenager.

Barnsley have enjoyed success in the past in signing players from outside the Football League and they see the Stockport giant as someone they can develop and sell on for a huge profit in the future.

The Tykes currently sit third from bottom in the Championship and are hoping to bolster their side this month in a bid to climb away from the relegation battle.

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Arthur is out of contract at Stockport this summer and the club are bracing themselves for offers for their prized asset before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

The German-born defender has played 24 times for the Hatters this season, helping them to eighth place in the National League with a number of commanding displays.

In other Barnsley news, it can be REVEALED that the club have made an approach for a player who left a high-flying Premier League side last summer.