The Mirror understands that Manchester City are leading the race to sign highly-regarded Barnsley right back James Bree. Several Premier League clubs, as well as Aston Villa, are also keen on the 19-year-old, who has impressed over the last few seasons.
In addition to Pep Guardiola being a big fan, Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham United and Southampton have all had scouts monitoring the progress of the right back, who is also able to play in central midfield. Steve Bruce, the Aston Villa manager, is believed to be lining up a £4million move.
The Tykes however are not prepared to let the player leave to join a Championship club. The Premier League clubs would be prepared to pay a much higher price and Barnsley will look to use that situation to suit. They’d ideally like to keep the player, but understand that every player has his price.
John Stones, a current Manchester City and England defender, also started his career at Barnsley before making the move to Everton and earning his reputation as being one of the best young defenders in the game. This season so far, Bree has made 19 appearances for the Oakwell club under Paul Heckingbottom, who won promotion from Sky Bet League One last season, winning the Football League Trophy in the process.
Barnsley are known for bringing talented youngsters through the ranks and into the first team fold, ultimately leading to big clubs in England coming to make their move. Bree is someone who could become a future England international in the eyes of many at the club and it remains to be seen if they are prepared to sell, or if the Premier League clubs will chance their arm with a significantly-sized bid.