PNE plan Hume contract talks

Favourite: Iain Hume has been a big hit with supporters
Favourite: Iain Hume has been a big hit with supporters
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson thinks that contract talks with Iain Hume will take place towards the end of the season.

The striker’s current deal runs out in the summer and Grayson is open to the possibility of offering him a new one.

A number of the North End squad have signed contract extensions in recent weeks.

John Welsh, Stuart Beavon, Keith Keane, Scott Laird, Paul Huntington, David Buchanan, Lee Holmes, Jack King and Joel Byrom are tied up until the end of the 2014/15 season.

PNE have also triggered an extra year on Joe Garner’s deal, signing him up for the same period.

Most of the players whose contracts are up this summer are currently out on loan, or have recently been, and their futures look to be elsewhere.

But in Hume’s case, Grayson feels there is ‘scope’ for discussions a few months down the line.

After largely figuring on the bench in recent weeks, Hume got the nod to start the New Year’s Day victory over Port Vale at Deepdale.

Grayson said: “With regards new contracts there is still scope to speak to people.

“Iain Hume is one of those out of contract in the summer and that is a situation which will take care of itself over the course of the season. We will speak to him towards the end of the season when we know a bit more about where we will be.

“The other lads who are out of contract are the ones who have gone out on loan knowing their futures are elsewhere.

“Humey is a fans’ favourite here and showed against Port Vale what he is capable of. I still think there is a lot more to come from him – he can still get more up to speed with fitness levels.

“But Humey is a very good player to have around the squad and there is some good competition for places up front.”

Hume will be keen to see action against Ipswich Town at Portman Road in the third round of the FA Cup today.

Grayson intends making changes to the side to rest some legs after the busy Christmas busy and gives others a much-needed run-out. Keith Keane is likely to be back in the side after being on the bench for the last three games.

New signing Alan Browne has travelled with the squad after his move from Cork City officially went through when the transfer window opened.

But it is unlikely that the teenager will be thrust straight into first-team action.

North End’s interest in Browne came initially after club owner Trevor Hemmings got a tip-off about him.

Grayson said: “Mr Hemmings has a racing farm over in Cork and someone mentioned Alan to him. We invited him over for a trial, liked what we saw, and I had him watched in games for Cork.

“We felt this was a good opportunity to get a young prospect over here and see how he develops. Alan is an attacking midfielder, left-footed.

“He is a talented footballer with an eye for goal.”