Bristol Rovers believe they have won the race for Barnsley winger Luke Thomas, Bristol Live understands.
The Gas have made Thomas one of their top targets in this window and have been involved in talks with Barnsley for several weeks.
Joey Barton’s hopes of signing the former Derby County and Cheltenham Town player suffered a blow in the past week with Markus Schopp being appointed as manager at Oakwell, replacing Valerien Ismael in charge.
Schopp was eager to assess his squad in full before sanctioning any departures, but the Gas have made a breakthrough in the past 24 hours and are set to beat Doncaster Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday to his signature.
Should the final details be tied up, Thomas will join Rovers on a season-long loan, with their interest first reported by our sister title Gloucestershire Live almost a month ago.
The 22-year-old played on loan for Ipswich Town last season, but his time in Suffolk was cut short due to personal problems. He later discussed struggles with his mental health on social media.
It his hoped a move closer to his family home in the Forest of Dean can get his career back on track and return the happiness to his game.
Securing the services of the England under-20 international is a coup for Barton’s Gas, with more than 100 EFL appearances under his belt, many of which came in the Championship.
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Thomas came through Cheltenham’s academy before being snapped up by Derby in 2015.
He spent the 2018/19 season on loan at Coventry City, with his performances for the Sky Blues earning him a move to Oakwell.
Thomas has scored twice in 63 appearances for Barnsley.