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Lawrence close to Barnsley transfer

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Liam Lawrence. Photo: Sportsfile

Liam Lawrence. Photo: Sportsfile

Liam Lawrence. Photo: Sportsfile

FORMER Ireland international Liam Lawrence is expected to sign a deal with Championship strugglers Barnsley this week after he severed his ties with Greek outfit PAOK.

Lawrence, 32, still has six months left on his contract with PAOK but he has struggled with injury and loss of form this season and has not been a first team regular, and now the club have agreed to release the winger to allow him return to England.

"It was an honour to play for the best team in Greece and I will never forget my time there," Lawrence said today after PAOK confirmed that they had agreed terms on his exit from the club.

The former Sunderland, Stoke and Portsmouth man has been training with Barnsley and is due to agree a short-team deal, until the end of the season, to aid their relegation battle.

Barnsley are bottom of the Championship table, with just 17 points from 24 games, and have gone seven games without a win.

Tykes boss Danny Wilson is a fan of Lawrence and he hopes that the winger's vast experience at Premier League and international level can help the club avoid relegation.

Lawrence joined PAOK from Portsmouth in 2012 and became a big hit with the fans of the Thessalonika club.

Qualify

He helped them qualify for the preliminary rounds of the Champions League this season but PAOK lost out to Schalke.

They managed to reach the group stages of the Europa League and also qualified for the knockout phase of that competition, with a clash against Benfica lined up next month, but Lawrence will play no part in that.

Meanwhile, former Ireland U21 defender Cliff Byrne is in line for a move to Scotland after he joined SPL side Ross County on trial.

The 31-year-old is still under contract with League One side Oldham but they have told Byrne that he is free to move on and Ross County have made an approach. "Hopefully things work out for him up there," said Oldham manager Lee Johnson.


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