North East duo eye Tykes star

Newcastle and Boro track Butterfield

Jacob Butterfield: Wanted in the North East

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Sky Sports understands that Newcastle and Middlesbrough are heading the chase for Barnsley star Jacob Butterfield.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who is currently sidelined with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered on New Year's eve against Leeds, is out-of-contract in the summer.

Barnsley boss Keith Hill has confirmed that Butterfield will be leaving the club in the summer, having failed to agree terms.

"Do I want to keep the best young midfielder in the Championship? Of course I do," said Hill.

"But this club cannot compete financially with other clubs in this league and we keep losing players.

"We have offered Jacob a contract but he will receive other offers that are much better financially. I think he will probably leave at the end of the season."

A host of Premier League and Championship clubs have been alerted to Butterfield's situation, whilst both Celtic and Rangers were also believed to be keeping tabs on him.

Sky Sports understands he could get the chance to head to the North East with Alan Pardew and Tony Mowbray both keen on securing a deal for Butterfield - even with his knee injury, which is expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

Despite being out of contract, Barnsley would have to be compensated should he move within England as he is under 24.