Barnsley have been dealt a blow after the EFL confirmed that their loan deal to bring Oli McBurnie from Swansea to Oakwell had not be ratified.
The club were informed by the league that the ‘administration process of the transfer was deemed to have not been met’ and so the proposed move had fallen through.
McBurnie’s transfer had been announced by both clubs on deadline day and the Scot looked set to be in the squad for Barnsley’s Championship match against Preston on Saturday.
In a statement on the club’s website, Chief Executive Gauthier Ganaye said: “We are naturally extremely disappointed, but we respect the English Football League’s decision and thank them for their communication throughout the process. Oli showed a huge desire to come and play for Barnsley Football Club which can only be admired and ultimately this decision will have the most impact on him.
“We are disappointed, but understand that although the player was identified as a significant target for the Club over two months ago, we were unable to try and effect the registration until the last moments of deadline day.
“We wish Oli nothing but the best of luck back at Swansea City in their Premier League campaign.”
The player himself tweeted after hearing of the news following a day’s training with what he thought would be his new team mates: “Can’t believe it,” before adding, “Didn’t think I was that bad in training today.”
The Scotland under 21 international put out a further tweet, saying: “I haven’t got a clue what’s happened but it is what it is. Back to Swansea now to crack on and do everything I can to help them this season!”
McBurnie is unlikely to make a breakthrough into the Swansea side, meaning that he will now surely be without first-team football, at least until the transfer window reopens in January.
Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom has called for his players to rise to the challenge of trying to topple high-flying Preston.
The Reds have won two of their five Championship matches but have lost both away league outings.
Tomorrow, Heckingbottom takes his side to Preston who are unbeaten at home in the league.
“Preston play with a hell of a lot of energy. That’s their standout quality,” Heckingbottom said.
“I think Alex [Neil, Preston manager] has tried to give them a lot of intensity to their game.
“They play with high energy, try to move the ball quick and they’ve not conceded a goal in open play in the league.
“[Jordan] Hugill has been massively important for them, either scoring for them or just being involved.
“They’ve got some really good players. Some I know really well and some I’ll be interested to see how they get on.
“It’s going to be a good, high-energy game, I would have thought. It will be exciting and I wouldn’t expect it to be 0-0.
“We’ll learn more about ourselves away from home – and whether we need to change our team or not.
“We’ve got some real outstanding qualities, which I don’t want to lose. But with qualities also come some big deficiencies which we need to try to tighten up.
“It’s a fine balancing act because we don’t want to take too much away from what we’re good at.”
The Reds have not lost to the Lilywhites in their last seven meetings.
But Heckingbottom, whose side thumped Sunderland 3-0 at home before the international break, has stressed his side have plenty to improve on.
“Every bit of success we’ve ever had has been down to everybody working, never an individual. That’s the message we get across,” said Heckingbottom.