Negotiations are reportedly underway between Barnsley and Orlando City over extending Daryl Dike’s loan to ensure he is available for the Championship play-offs.
The 20-year-old forward joined on loan from the MLS side in the winter window and has proven an integral player in their successful top six push, scoring nine times in 17 appearances.
It is understood, however, that despite his loan deal running until the 31st of May, Orlando have the option of recalling Dike from the 3rd of the month.
Barnsley CEO Dane Murphy eased fears over the forward’s short-term future earlier this week but it seems there is still a chance he could return to the MLS club.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Dike’s loan deal has cost the Tykes nothing so far and his parent club are now keen to secure some compensation moving forward.
Orlando CEO Alex Leitão told the Sentinel that negotiations were underway concerning the 20-year-old but offered the Yorkshire club a stark warning.
He said: “We’re trying to reach an agreement.
“If they reach an agreement that we can get something that helps it make sense for us to keep Daryl there for another month, that’ll be fine. If they do not reach an agreement, because Barnsley don’t believe that he’s worth it, then no problem. We’re gonna call the player back and he’s gonna help us here in Orlando.”
Beyond the end of this season, Dike’s future looks even more uncertain with a host of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, Manchester United, Leeds United, and West Ham United thought to be interested.
It is believed that Orlando have already rejected a $10 million (£7.2m) offer for 80% of the forward’s rights from a top-flight club.
Did Barnsley sign each of these 19 players on a free transfer or not?
It seems the situation is not quite as simple as Murphy suggested earlier in the week.
To stand any chance of winning the play-offs and getting promoted, you feel the Tykes need to ensure Dike stays at the football club.
If that means agreeing some sort of compensation deal then so be it because the 20-year-old has become their talisman over the past few months.
Losing him now would be a hammer blow.