Orlando City SC announced that Daryl Dike will “remain on loan through the end of the EFL Championship Playoffs” after reaching an agreement with Barnsley FC. The loan was originally until May 31st, but the MLS club had a recall option. According to Jeff Carlisle of ESPN, an undisclosed fee was paid to keep the striker in England.
Prior to the announcement, Barnsley remained firm on Dike staying through the playoffs. “We have extension through the end of the season, no matter what the day is,” said club CEO Dane Murphy. “Our original loan was until May 2, and May 5 was the time he had to be back before he was not allowed until July to play. They said, ‘Listen, he has to come back by May 5.’ Now we have got to this point, we have an extension through the end of our season, but the recall was left there in case we did not make the playoffs.”
Since joining Barnsley, Dike has scored nine goals in 17 league appearances. He was recently named the club’s Player of the Month for the second month in a row. During his loan, the Tykes have jumped from 12th place in the table to sixth, qualifying for a spot in the promotion playoffs.
Barnsley has two regular season matches remaining, against Preston North End on Saturday, May 1st and table leaders Norwich City on Saturday, May 8th. The two-leg playoff semifinal is scheduled for Monday, May 17th and Saturday, May 22nd. Currently, Dike is set to lead his squad against third-place Brentford for a spot in the final. Since being established in 1887, the club has spent a single season in the top flight, reaching the Premier League in 1997.
After the loan expires, the 20-year-old is set to be the subject of a bidding war, with Everton and Chelsea FC rumored as interested parties. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Orlando City turned down “a $10 million offer from a Premier League team for 80% of the striker’s rights.” Barnsley is said to have the first option to buy for significantly less than $20 million, but any potential deal would require Dike agreeing to personal terms.