Barnsley approach EFL manager about vacant role

League One bound Barnsley are beginning to ramp up their search for a new manager ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Now according to Gloucestershire Live, Barnsley have made an approach to Sky Bet League One side Cheltenham Town to speak to manager Michael Duff about their vacant managerial role.

Former Cheltenham star Martin Devaney has been in caretaker charge at Oakwell since the departure of Poya Asbaghi on April 24.

Barnsley were relegated from the Championship after finishing bottom and the South Yorkshire club will return to League One next season after three seasons in the second tier.

Meanwhile, Duff has been in charge at Cheltenham since September 2018 and led his side to the Sky Bet League Two title in the 2020/21 campaign. Then he continued that impressive form by guiding his side to their highest ever finish in the EFL, which was 15th in League One.

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His current contract at Whaddon Road runs to the end of next season, although talks have started over an extension. A relatively modest compensation fee would be required should he decide to join Barnsley.

Over the past few years Duff has been linked with various jobs across the EFL, but the Tykes are now the first side to make contact with Cheltenham regarding Duff.

The 44-year-old only played for two clubs as a player, Cheltenham and Burnley where he spent 12 years at helping the Lancashire side to three promotions as captain.

Duff then moved into coaching at Burnley once he announced his retirement. His first role was with the Under-18s and he then took charge of the Under-23s for a year and was involved with Sean Dyche’s first team staff before Cheltenham appointed him as their replacement for Gary Johnson early in the 2018/19 campaign.

He guided them away from relegation trouble after switching to a 3-5-2 formation and since then it has been non-stop progress, with an FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester City thrown into the mix, a game they held their own in.

Former Northern Ireland international Duff has taken charge of 202 matches and has made no secret of his ambitions of managing at the top level. It will now come down to the talks and the ambition from both sides and whether or not Duff feels this is the right job to take.

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