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Premier League side West Bromwich Albion have joined the race to sign highly-rated Barnsley defender Marc Roberts according to the Sheffield Star.

The Tykes captain, who came through the non-league ranks at Halifax Town, is also said to be a transfer target for the Baggiesí midlands rivals Aston Villa with Villans boss Steve Bruce an admirer of the centre-back.

With West Brom having a couple of aging centre-backs at the heart of their defence the time will soon come for Tony Pulis to reinforce that area of his squad and Roberts appears to be someone who could fill the void.

The 26-year-old made a huge impression in his first season in the Championship making 43 appearances for Barnsley as the Oakwell side comfortably consolidated themselves in the second tier after promotion the previous year.

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Roberts has previously gone on record to say that he was looking forward to next season with the Yorkshire club but a big bid could leave the Tykes with a decision to make on his future.

Villa have already raided Barnsley for a couple of players recently having signed Conor Hourihane and James Bree from there in January but if they are to complete the hat trick of incomings then players are likely to need to leave Villa Park first.