Carlisle manager John Ward admits Barnsley hold the 'important cards' in the battle to sign defender Paul Reid.
Barnsley are willing to listen to offers for Reid this summer and Ward has admitted an interest in the 26-year-old.
Reid spent a period on loan at Brunton Park at the end of the 2007/08 season as Carlisle booked a place in the League One play-off semi-finals.
And Ward was impressed by Reid during his time with Carlisle, but the Cumbrians boss admits it could be difficult to reach an agreement with Barnsley.
"Paul is a player we are following but, while he is contracted to Barnsley, they hold the important cards," Ward told the Yorkshire Post.
"If he was to be released, to their mutual agreement, we will look at it. He cares very much about this city and about the football club.
"I like him and he liked what he saw here. It's up to Barnsley what happens now."
Meanwhile, Ward confesses he is going to have to 'tread carefully' with the development of highly-rated striker Gary Madine.
The 17-year-old, who made his full debut against Bournemouth in May, has been offered a three-year contract at Carlisle, but he is believed to be the target of a host of Premier League clubs.
"We have to be careful how much we expect of him (Madine) next year and he has to be looked after," Ward added in the Cumberland News and Star.
"We have to tread carefully with him, and there won't be 40 games and 25 goals out of him next season.
"He has the chance of a good career and he has a great attitude. He's not a lazy boy or a soft boy and the good thing about him is that he wants a Carlisle shirt."