The 28-year-old is confirmed to be leaving Deepdale on the expiration of his contract in Lancashire this summer, enabling sides to enter negotiations with the winger from now as he looks for a fresh start elsewhere.
Derby are one side that could hugely benefit from his arrival with the Rams set to be working within a tight business plan throughout the 2022/23 campaign, a plan that is likely to limit them to free agents and loanees during this window and the winter period.
Quiz: Can you name which club these 27 ex-Derby County players are playing for now?
However, they are currently unable to get a deal over the line because of the fact they are still in administration at this stage, with a takeover deal yet to be sealed following Chris Kirchner’s withdrawal from the race.
Luckily for the Rams, other parties are interested in taking control of the third-tier side including Andy Appleby and Mike Ashley, though it’s currently unclear who will win the race even with the former reportedly the frontrunner.
Although this is promising news, until a takeover is finalised, new contracts can’t be handed out and they are unable to sign anyone including Barkhuizen. At this stage, the 28-year-old is still yet to make a decision on his future, with Bolton Wanderers and Rotherham United also reported to have been interested in the Englishman.
Unfortunately, it will probably get to a point where Barkhuizen simply has to look at his other options because he won’t want to find himself in the same situation as Kean Bryan did last season, without a club until after the season has started.
Although the opportunity to play under Wayne Rooney is a major plus, he shouldn’t turn down options from elsewhere just to hold out for an offer from the Rams because there is still so much uncertainty surrounding their situation.
If a takeover deal can be sealed very shortly though, he could potentially come in as one of their first signings if they sustain their interest and he would be joining what could be an exciting project, with Rooney needing a rebuild.
They do have some decent assets at their disposal already though with Jason Knight, Max Bird, Nathan Byrne and others all contracted to the club past the summer, giving them a decent few names to build around.
And Barkhuizen has enough second-tier experience under his belt to be a real asset in the third tier, so it will be interesting to see how he performs if he does arrive at Pride Park.