Barnsley: ‘Something has to give’ in Conor Wilkinson pursuit

Conor Wilkinson
Conor Wilkinson

Barnsley boss Lee Johnson has declared that ‘something’s got to give’ if the club are to bring in Bolton striker Conor Wilkinson.

A deal for the 20-year-old striker looked to be near completion last week after the clubs agreed a fee, but talks have stalled over the player’s wage demands.

Johnson has spoken openly about the club’s transfer policy, as he aims to bring in a young, hungry squad without overpaying in terms of transfer fees, agents’ fees or wages.

Whilst Wilkinson fits the bill in terms of the type of player Barnsley are looking to recruit, the Reds are unwilling to meet his current salary expectations.

“It’s a difficult one because he’s on Championship money and we’re asking him to drop to League One money and something’s got to give,” Johnson told The Star. “We thought we weren’t too far away and then all of a sudden we did seem far away.

“It’s a case of balancing risk and reward for us in terms of outlay, and until it comes into line with what we’re willing to pay both the player and the agent’s fee then we won’t do it.”

Meanwhile, the Reds manager has indicated that there is no pressure on new signing Wade Maxwell to step up to the first team at Oakwell straight away.

The 17-year-old highly-rated midfielder joined from Liverpool last week, having featured heavily for the Premier League outfit’s Under-18 side last season.

But although he is excited by his potential, Johnson did not bring him in to go straight into the first-team squad.

“He’s still got some development, I wouldn’t say he’s been signed for our first team at this point,” he added. “He came on trial at the end of last year and was quite impressive and we have to see how he copes in our environment.

“He’s got something and it would be great if he can make an impression on the first team, but we certainly won’t be putting him under pressure to do that this year.”

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