Barnsley have been given permission to approach Rochdale manager Keith Hill about the current vacancy at Oakwell.
But the Yorkshire club have stressed Hill will be added to a shortlist of candidates they hope to interview as they search for a replacement for Mark Robins, who left the club on Sunday.
A statement issued by Barnsley read: "The board can confirm the press release issued by Rochdale AFC that Barnsley FC have been given permission to speak to Keith Hill regarding our first team manager vacancy."
The statement continued: "We are still in the process of qualifying our shortlist and seeking permission to speak is the normal protocol for interviewing employees of other clubs.
"This development should not be taken by our fans to mean an imminent announcement of an appointment.''
Rochdale chairman Colin Garlick dismissed speculation on Thursday linking his manager with Barnsley or any other club, but Hill, who steered Dale to their first promotion since 1969 last season and then guided them to an impressive ninth-placed finish in npower League One this time round, has won plenty of admirers during his four-and-a-half years with the club.
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