Bees director of football Paul Fairclough believes Barnet remain the frontrunners to sign Dani Lopez on a permanent deal.

The Spaniard has returned to Stevenage after his loan with Barnet came to an end at the weekend.

The 28-year-old made nine appearances during his three months at the Bees and netted three times.

Barnet have made it clear they want to keep the 28-year-old at the club and Fairclough was asked on Tuesday if a deal was expected to be completed.

He said: “We are working very hard to bring him to Barnet but I am sure other clubs are as well. We feel we are in the driving seat but we have to be sensible with what we are doing.

“We would like Dani Lopez to be part of our set up and that is going to be in the main down to Dani.”

Fairclough added the Bees have identified other targets if they are unable to complete a deal for the Spaniard but was wary of “ending with egg on your face” by entering into negotiations with several clubs.

One player who was expected to sign a deal with Barnet at the start of the window was Romanian defender Claudiu Vilcu.

The imposing centre-back was on trial with the Bees in the summer and signed a deal with the club.

A work permit application was turned down however and Fairclough said that meant the contract was “null and void”.

But at the start of 2014 Romanians and Bulgarians gained the right of other European Union citizens to work in the UK.

Vilcu is now able to join Barnet but Fairclough said a deal is currently unlikely. He added: “I believe he has played some games with a group of Romanian lads that play football over here.
“What I gather is he sustained a broken foot so he is out of the equation at the moment.”

The two departures from Barnet in this window have seen Allen join Kingstonian on a one-month loan while Fletcher left the club last week after making just five appearances.

Fairclough is hopeful Barnet will not lose any further players before the end of the month as they look to make a push for the play-offs.

However, he added:  “We are in the business of football and should someone come in with an offer that would give us the chance to strengthen the side, if the balance was right we would have to look at that.”