Shrewsbury Town leading the race for left-back Dan Jones
Shrewsbury Town have moved ahead of their rivals in the pursuit of in-demand Barrow star Dan Jones.
The Barrow left-back, 24, is out of contract and has attracted the interest of several Football League clubs with Shrewsbury now moving closer to sealing a deal.
League One rivals Fleetwood were leading the race to land the former Hartlepool and Grimsby man but it is believed talks have broken down.
Town are now understood to be in pole position to land the out-of-contract defender, who has played 74 times for Barrow since joining the National League side two years ago.
Other clubs, including Blackpool, have been in the hunt for Jones but Sam Ricketts’ Town look to have stolen a march on Joey Barton’s Cod Army and the Seasiders.
Jones began his career at Hartlepool before moving on to Grimsby, where he was signed by ex-Town boss Paul Hurst. He joined Barrow in 2017.
The County Durham-born player is available free of charge and will not require a fee through the Bosman rule as he is over 24. He has played 40 games in the Football League, the majority coming for former club Hartlepool in League Two at the beginning of his career.
His one goal last season came in a win at Ricketts’ former club Wrexham in March.
Ricketts is looking to play a three-man defence with wing-backs, meaning full-backs coming through the door will require an ability to play further forward.
Town are well-stocked at wing-back having re-signed Scott Golbourne on a new two-year deal, with Ricketts’ former Coventry team-mate Ryan Haynes also an option, though he was used sparingly in the final months of the season.
They are also understood to be chasing talented Wolves starlet Ryan Giles with a view to using the Telford-born player as a wing-back.
Ricketts made Wolves centre-half Ethan Ebanks-Landell his first signing of the summer and is looking to further boost his Town squad with more deals with another three weeks until players return for pre-season.
Salop have signed Daniel Udoh, top scorer at neighbours AFC Telford United, while they are still believed to be assessing at centre-half. The capture of Udoh, 22, does not mean Shrewsbury are finished in forward departments.
The Shrews boss has said he expects interest in some of his bigger players this summer, but added Town do not need to cash in.