Kilkenny may stay at PNE

North End will talk with midfielder Neil Kilkenny about extending his stay at Deepdale
North End will talk with midfielder Neil Kilkenny about extending his stay at Deepdale
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Preston North End are looking to keep hold of midfielder Neil Kilkenny for next season.

The 28-year-old is out of contract next month but talks will start soon with his agent about extending his stay.

It is believed that Kilkenny is very keen to remain at Deepdale, having settled in well since joining from Bristol City last November.

He joined on loan from the Robins to start with, then when his Ashton Gate contract was settled up in January, the Australian signed a full-time deal with PNE until the end of the season.

North End do have other midfield targets in mind should negotiations with Kilkenny not bear fruit but they are hopeful of a successful conclusion.

In the season just finished he made 29 starts and three substitute appearances, scoring twice.

He missed the first leg of the play-offs against Rotherham because of an ankle injury but was fit to feature in the return game.

The Lilywhites made public their retained list yesterday, and it contained no surprises.

John Mousinho, Graham Cummins, Chris Beardsley and Nicky Wroe, who spent time away from Deepdale on loan during the season, have been released.

The quartet will be out of contract at the end of June and available on free transfers.

Youngsters Ryan Croasdale and Alex Nicholson are leaving too.

Neither have been able to force their way into first-team contention.

Both were limited to a single senior appearance in 2013/14 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Oldham.

Lancaster-born Croasdale came through the youth ranks at Deepdale, turning professional a year ago.

The 19-year-old midfielder had loan spells with Tamworth and Stalybridge Celtic last season.

Right-back Nicholson, who was on the books of Newcastle before joining Preston last autumn, ended the campaign on loan at Chorley.

The futures of two other players reaching the end of their contracts, have been put on hold until next week.

Shane Cansdell-Sherriff and Iain Hume will face each other in Monday’s League Two 
play-off final between Burton and Fleetwood at Wembley.

North End have retained the services of youngsters Steven James and Ben Davies, taking up year options on the pair.

The first-year professionals were loaned out for experience last term, goalkeeper James to Bamber Bridge and Nantwich, and Davies to York City.

Will Hayhurst has returned from a loan spell at York, the winger having 12 months to run on his PNE contract.

As for the players who North End had on loan at Deepdale, Paul Gallagher, Declan Rudd and Craig Davies have returned to their parent clubs.

They are hoping to strike a deal with Leicester to bring Gallagher back on loan for next season, and are also in the hunt to sign goalkeeper Rudd.

A move for Rudd might be delayed by the fact Norwich are without a manager at the moment.

Davies will not be returning to Deepdale after his 
three-and-a-half months on loan from Bolton Wanderers.