The Sheffield Star understands that Aston Villa are lining up a bid of £5million to try and lure Barnsley central defender Marc Roberts to Villa Park. Conor Hourihane and James Bree both made that move last season, and Steve Bruce wants to bring in another Tykes connection.

The highly-rated Barnsley captain has impressed since making the move to Oakwell back in 2015. He helped the club win promotion out of Sky Bet League One in his opening campaign, in addition to assisting them in lifting the Johnstones Paint Trophy too. Last season they comfortably avoided relegation in their first season back in the Sky Bet Championship.

If moving on, he would become the latest big name to leave Barnsley over the last few seasons. Josh Scowen and Marley Watkins both decided to move on at the end of the campaign, whilst John Stones, Mason Holgate and Alfie Mawson all currently ply their trade in the Premier League at this moment in time with Manchester City, Everton and Swansea City respectively. Sam Winnall also left to join rivals Sheffield Wednesday not too long ago as well.

Tykes boss Paul Heckingbottom is understandably keen to keep the 26-year-old at the club and very much build the team around such players. Whilst Roberts would receive higher wages at Villa Park, regularly playing time would surely be his number one concern. Defence was a problem area for Bruce last season so it is no shock that he is looking to strengthen in this department over the summer months.

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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!