Former Burnley defender Michael Duff is reportedly set to take over at League One side Barnsley.

Duff made over 350 appearances for the Clarets during a memorable 12-year spell at Turf Moor.

The 44-year-old has received praise for the job he has done at Cheltenham since heading into management, guiding the Robins to a respectable 15-th place finish in League One last season.

However, he has now informed the Robins he “wishes to depart to pursue a new opportunity”.

Duff had also held talks over the vacant Blackpool job but is now set to take charge at Oakwell.

“Obviously it’s a disappointing day for Cheltenham Town as Michael has done such a tremendous job for us but he leaves with our very best wishes for the future,” chairman David Bloxham told the club’s website.

“Michael made it clear to us that it was a very difficult decision for him. We did all we could to try and keep him at the club but ultimately this new opportunity is one that he feels it right for him at this stage of his career.

“I know it would not have been an easy decision to arrive at because Michael has built up a very special bond with our club and his family all live locally, so it will be a big wrench for him to leave but as an ambitious young manager, we completely respect his decision.

“The search for a new manager will begin immediately and we are fortunate in having a strong and very capable football staff who will continue preparations for the new season as normal.

“Our director of football Micky Moore continues to work hard to recruit new players and the squad will return for pre-season training next week.”

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