Barnsley manager makes comment on Bristol Rovers’ interest in Luke Thomas

The Barnsley boss wouldn’t stand in the way of a potential exit for Luke Thomas but is impressed by what he’s seen from the forward

Barnsley manager Michael Duff is unsurprised by apparent interest in Luke Thomas but is unaware of any approach from Bristol Rovers.

It was reported last week that the Gas had begun plans to try and re-sign sign Thomas from the Tykes after a successful loan spell.

BristolLive said that talks had been ongoing about the 23-year-old joining on a three-year deal with a fee involved.

But Barnsley’s manager Duff, who is a few months into the role after leaving Cheltenham, believes nothing is imminent at the moment.

Speaking to the Barnsley Chronicle, the 44-year-old said: “I don’t get obsessed with rumours. “Other clubs want good players but we want to keep our good players.

“We’re at a club where, if people meet valuations and the players want to go, they go. I wasn’t aware of interest but it doesn’t surprise me because he’s a good player and did well for them last year, so why would they not want him back?

“We will deal with it if and when it happens. “Luke is more attack-minded than a lot of our midfielders. He’s naturally a winger but he drives forwards and gives us more balance. We want people who want to be here and he’s been top drawer. “His attitude has been brilliant.”

Thomas himself admitted that game time is important to him this season and that his ‘number one goal’ is to play at Barnsley and that he would ‘love’ to make that happen.

He arrived at Barnsley in June 2019 for an undisclosed fee but has spent the past season-and-a-half away from the Yorkshire club. Thomas had played 64 games in total for them with 58 of them being in the Championship but he was allowed to leave on loan.

A short spell at Ipswich where he made five appearances took place in the 2020/21 season and then the opportunity arose to join Rovers last summer.

Thomas wasn’t always a starter and at one point looked like he could have been sent back but managed to turn it around and contributed to last season’s promotion success.

He left Rovers having made 32 appearances across all competitions with one goal and five assists with 14 of them being starts.

“I just want to play week in, week out, he said to the Barnsley Chronicle. “Hopefully that’s at Barnsley but, if not, I will look elsewhere.

“I have been at Barnsley a while but I don’t feel like I’ve got started. “My number one goal is to play at Barnsley and I would love that to happen.”