RICHIE Barker reckons a move for Nathan Clarke could be out of the Shakers’ reach this summer.

The big centre half, who helped steady the Bury ship after his arrival on loan from Huddersfield Town at the end of January, could soon be made surplus to requirements at the Galpharn Stadium.

Simon Grayson’s side are gunning for a place in the Championship this weekend when they take on Sheffield United, and while the 28-year-old could yet be part of that Wembley-bound squad, it seems unlikely he will be offered a new deal after spending the whole season on loan at Oldham and Bury.

Shakers manager Barker is keeping a close eye on his situation but fears he will be unable to match the kind of wages currently earned by the rock solid defender.

“From a financial point of view, anyone from Huddersfield Town is going to be an extremely difficult one for us,” he told The Bury Times.

“We can’t compete with wages like that.

“Nathan was terrific for us when he came in and he seemed to really enjoy his time here.

“But whether we get a chance to sort anything out, I’d doubt it at the moment.”

Barker is also keeping tabs on a few other old boys who could become available over the next month as retained lists are announced up and down the land.

It is understood that a deal for West Brom’s Lateef Elford Alliyu is being considered, while the futures of Liverpool winger David Amoo and Blackpool defender Ashley Eastham should soon become clearer, potentially leaving Barker with another two well-known targets to pursue.

It seems a deal for Giles Coke is unlikely, however, with the midfielder indicating that he wants to stick out the final year of his contract at Sheffield Wednesday.

The “try before you buy” philosophy has been one that has served Barker well, and, having secured goalkeeper Trevor Carson on a two-year deal, he believes it is a beneficial way for both parties to do business.

“It works both ways,” he said. “We get a look at the player, see what he can do, and they decide whether they like the feel of the place.”