Two mystery Championship clubs have submitted bids for Barnsley midfielder Alex Mowatt, Football Insider can reveal.
The 25-year-old has entered the final six months of his current contract and he could leave for free in the summer.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider the Yorkshire club are holding out for £1.2million for the former Leeds United man.
The identity of the unnamed Championship duo could be key to Barnsley’s hopes of keeping hold of the midfielder.
Tykes boss Valerien Ismael told the Yorkshire Post earlier this month tieing Mowatt down to a new contract would be the “most important deal” the club could do in the next few weeks.
He added: “I am sure we will try everything to keep Alex. Alex is the face of the team and the club and the captain of the team. We are working on it.”
Mowatt had started every game this season before a positive test for coronavirus ruled him out of their 1-0 defeat to Norwich City on January 2.
He returned to the starting XI in their 2-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Barnsley have been one of the surprise packages in this season’s Championship after narrowly avoiding relegation last term.
They currently sit in ninth, three points behind the play-off positions, despite seeing manager Gerhard Struber quitting the club for MLS side New York Red Bulls in October.
Doncaster-born Mowatt has been a key figure for the Tykes this season and has scored winning goals against Preston North End, Rotherham United and Watford.
In other news, Football Insider can reveal both Barnsley and Sunderland are preparing bids for a 26-year-old after a big development.