Cheltenham Town issue statement addressing interest in Michael Duff from Blackpool and Barnsley

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Cheltenham Town have confirmed their manager Michael Duff has been given permission to speak to Barnsley and an unnamed Championship club - widely believed to be Blackpool.
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The former Burnley defender has also spoken to Barnsley, who are also on the lookout for a new number one following their relegation to the third tier.

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Cheltenham have offered Duff an improved contract in an attempt to keep him in Gloucestershire, where he has enjoyed success over the past few seasons - first winning the League Two title during the 2020/21 season before leading the club to a comfortable mid-table finish in the division above - the highest finish in the club’s history.

“The board is conscious of the speculation surrounding the future of Michael Duff and would like to update Cheltenham Town supporters about the current situation,” the Robins said in a statement.

“Michael's contract at Cheltenham Town has a further year to run and we are extremely keen to keep him as our manager. To that end, the directors have put forward an offer to extend this contract and discussions remain ongoing.

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Duff led Cheltenham to the League Two title during the 2020/21 campaignDuff led Cheltenham to the League Two title during the 2020/21 campaign
Duff led Cheltenham to the League Two title during the 2020/21 campaign

“It is common knowledge that Barnsley have requested permission to speak to Michael as part of their new manager recruitment process and we have now received an approach from a Championship club as well.

“Michael has been given permission to speak to both clubs but we remain hopeful that he will stay to continue his work at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.

“The interest in Michael and his coaching staff is testament to the club's remarkable success over the past three seasons.

“Both the club and Michael are keeping in regular contact with a view to settling his future position as early as possible. We have made him aware, in the clearest way possible, of our wish for him to stay and are hopeful that will be his ultimate decision.

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“In the meantime, preparations for the 2022/23 season are continuing as planned and the board will be readying themselves for a number of different eventualities in order to try and give the team the best chance to start the new campaign as strongly as possible.”