Barnsley have received two bids from Championship clubs for midfielder Alex Mowatt, but the bidders haven’t been named – Mowatt has previously been linked with Cardiff City, Middlesbrough and QPR.

The 25-year-old ex-Leeds United man has established himself as one of the Football league’s most formidable central midfielders with Barnsley. Joining in 2016, he’s since made 124 league appearances for the Tykes, having scored four in 22 Championship outings this season.

Last summer, Mowatt was linked with a move away. All of Cardiff, Middlesbrough and QPR were linked as Mowatt entered the final year of his Barnsley contract. The plan was for Mowatt to sign an extended deal at Oakwell, and that remains one of Valerian Ismael’s top priorities.

He told The Yorkshire Post last week:

“It is not only my (major) priority, but the club’s. I think for the club it is the most important deal to do in the next few weeks.

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“He is a big part for our success. Alex knows as well that he has a big standing in the team and club. I think both sides want to stay together and I think we must find a solution.

“I am sure we will try everything to keep Alex. Alex is the face of the team and the club and the captain of the team.

“We are working on it. I phoned and spoke with him (on Wednesday) and this is now our best purpose.”

Now though, Football Insider report that Barnsley have received offers from two ‘mystery’ Championship clubs for Mowatt, with the club ‘holding out’ for £1.2million for the midfielder.

Whether one or both of the two ‘mystery’ bidders is any of Cardiff, Middlesbrough or QPR is obviously unknown. But their links to Mowatt have been coming in and out of the headlines throughout the season – last October, Barnsley CEO Dane Murphy revealed interest in Mowatt late in the summer transfer window.

He told The Yorkshire Post:

“We had a couple of calls. But nothing officially came through to us. We had a few ‘feelers’ for Alex throughout the window. That’s as far as it got.”

Mowatt then having appeared to stall on contract talks looks keen to seal an exit from Oakwell this month. A Championship move is his most likely outcome and on the surface, bids from two of Cardiff, Middlesbrough or QPR seem realistic.

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All three have been looking active in the transfer window this month – Neil Harris is on the lookout for additions as he tries to drag his under-performing Cardiff side up the table, whilst old boss Neil Warnock is looking to strengthen his promotion bid at Middlesbrough.

Mark Warburton at QPR has also been active – Charlie Austin has returned to the club on loan, with more deals expected this month.

If Mowatt’s £1.2million price-tag is met then he could be turning out for a new club in the coming week or so. He’s a quality Championship player and despite his side’s fortunes this season, seems keen to start out on a new adventure.