Gillingham midfielder Kyle Dempsey is a man in-demand according to Football Insider, with a host of Championship clubs all apparently tracking his signature.
Nottingham Forest, Luton Town, Preston North End and Barnsley are all said to be interested in the 25-year-old, who only joined the Gills in August from Fleetwood Town.
A creative midfielder, Dempsey’s best season came in his first full professional campaign at Carlisle United in 2014/15, where he scored 10 goals and also had 10 assists (Transfermarkt) in a spell-binding League Two campaign.
He didn’t quite hit those heights at Huddersfield Town, whom he joined off the back of that super season in 2015, but he was a regular at Fleetwood where he spent four years, both on loan and permanently between 2016 and 2020.
Barnsley’s reported interest comes at a time where they may end up losing the influential Alex Mowatt on a free transfer in the summer or for a fee this month, with Millwall having a bid rejected for the ex-Leeds United man.
And it’s also a position that Valerien Ismael lacks depth in following the departure of Matty James, whose loan from Leicester City has ended, while natural midfielder Callum Styles has found a new role at left wing back.
There have been no local reports to back up Barnsley’s supposed interest, but there’s been no denials either, which sometimes suggests that something is going on in the background.
Dempsey is a key player for Steve Evans and he will not want to lose him, but finances at clubs across the Football League are tough right now and if Barnsley come calling in the final week of the window, Gillingham may find a decent offer tough to turn down.
I genuinely believe this is a deal that could happen. Dempsey is familiar with the area having played for Huddersfield and he’s a northern boy at heart, hailing from Whitehaven on the Cumbria coast.
But I feel as though this all rests on Mowatt’s situation, and if he gives Barnsley a clear indication in the next week that he won’t be sticking around at Oakwell, I can see the club making their move for Dempsey.