The Reds had discussions with the 23-year-old about a move to Oakwell, but were gazumped by Championship rivals Huddersfield, who travel to South Yorkshire on Saturday.
But Hill, who admitted to having a list of 25 potential targets, hopes to have a deal concluded by Friday morning.
"We have got irons in the fire, we will probably have some sort of conclusion as to whether we will have anyone in on Friday morning," he said.
"I am relatively optimistic, but I am not afraid to go in with the players I have got.
"If we can improve the squad then we will but we have got a bit of a conundrum with the players we want to recruit. One, do they want to come, two, can we afford them and three, they have to be of the right calibre. If we can't improve then we won't recruit."
As for missing out on Church, Hill added: "He's a good player but he'll be playing for the opposition.
"We respect player's decisions. You have to look at the type of player we are trying to recruit and whether they have other options.
"They are not being disrespectful if they choose to go somewhere else.
"You should ask Simon Church, Simon Grayson or maybe (Barnsley director) Don Rowing why he chose to go there. I don't think it is any disrespect to this football club or myself, I think it is down to possibilities and probabilities of both football clubs."