Bristol Rovers dealt transfer blow as target set for new contract

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Bristol Rovers hopes of reuniting with one of their League Two promotion winners looks to be dashed.

Luke Thomas looks set to remain at Barnsley - after the losing League One play-off finalists offered him a new contract.

The Tykes released their retained this week and revealed that they had offered new terms to Thomas, who is out of contract at Oakwell this summer. The 24-year-old has been at Oakwell for four years, but spent last season on loan at Bristol Rovers, helping them get promoted out of League Two, having got five assists and one goal during his time in the blue and white quartered jersey.

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According to the Bristol Post back in March, Thomas was wanted back at Rovers last summer, and that his contract situation was something that they had been monitoring. Joey Barton has always been keen to reunite with loan players, who he has enjoyed working with, and Thomas had a strong affiliation with the Gas, returning for a match this season during his time out with a serious knee injury.

Thomas returned to Barnsley after his loan expired, and was given a new lease of life by Michael Duff, who integrated him back into the first-team picture, and he was flourishing before a training ground injury. The former Derby County attacker completed the season with 31 appearances, getting three assists and two goals. He had been a substitute for the latter stages of the promotion run-in, and played 48 minutes in the 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Monday afternoon at Wembley Stadium.

James Norwood - who held talks about a move to Rovers last year, but instead went to Barnsley after Barton chose to sign John Marquis, has also been offered new terms. They have taken the option to extend his deal by a further year after getting 12 goals and four assists in 45 games.

The only senior player to have been let go by Barnsley is Clarke Oduor, who departs the Yorkshire club after four seasons, which also included a loan spell with Hartlepool United this season.

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