Barnsley have been named as one of two teams chasing the latest star of non-league football.
25 year old Mansfield striker Matt Green notched 29 goals for the Blue Square Bet Premier side as they reached the play-offs this season but is now set to leave the One Call Stadium after the Stags failed to end their four year exile from the Football League by losing 2-1 on aggregate to York in the semi-finals.
Green, who started his career with Bristol City has had a pretty nomadic career so far which has included six loan spells at four clubs in the space of five years but the ex Cardiff City man has finally found his form at Mansfield and after blasting in 14 goals in 25 games whilst on loan in 2011, signed permanently on New Years Day this year and finished the 2011-2012 campaign with 29 goals in 45 appearances.
This has led to interest higher up the football league pyramid with the Reds and League One Preston chasing his signature. Reds boss Keith Hill is keen to bolster his attacking line-up after the departures of Ricardo Vaz Te and Andy Gray, but has a limited budget to work with, so Green would be an ideal signing.
Meanwhile winger Jim O’Brien is all set to follow Stephen Foster and agree a new contract at Oakwell. The 24-year-old Scotmans had easily his best campaign for the Reds in 2011-2012 after initially arriving in 2010 and has been offered a new two-year deal by the club. The former Motherwell man told local media:
"As far as I know I’ll be at Barnsley next season, we’re close to getting a deal signed. I enjoy playing for the club and feel settled there now, I really enjoyed last season. I’m weighing up my options but I’d like to stay. We just need to sort a few things with my contract, but we’re nearly there.
“It’s a big thing for me to be wanted, it’s good to be part of a club who want to be successful. Keith Hill and David Flitcroft have been great with, they thrive on hard work - and that suits me down to the ground.”
O’Brien did also reveal the squad were hoping the management team would sign some real quality this summer to avoid another flirtation with relegation as he said:
“It’s going to be interesting to see who the manager signs in the summer, but I think we’d all like some players with Championship experience.”