Busy few months of contract talks ahead for Preston North End
Preston North End have plenty of work to do on the contract front over the coming months with 24 players due to reach the end of their current deals in the next 16 months.
Seven contracts run out this summer, with 17 deals set to come to an end in June 2021.
Goalkeeper Declan Rudd, midfielder Paul Gallagher and club captain Tom Clarke are among those out of contract at the end of this season.
So too are keepers Mathew Hudson and Michael Crowe, together with Kevin O’Connor and Connor Simpson.
O’Connor and Simpson are out on season-long loans at Waterford and Accrington respectively.
It is the summer of 2021 which North End supporters will in particular be keeping their eyes on.
Among those contracted until then are the ‘big three’ of Ben Pearson, Ben Davies and Alan Browne.
To negotiate new deals with that trio would need the current wage structure pushed higher.
Daniel Johnson, Darnell Fisher, Josh Harrop, Sean Maguire, Andrew Hughes and the long-serving Paul Huntington are among the others contracted until 2021.
Four players have signed new contracts during the course of the current season, those being Tom Barkhuizen and Billy Bodin, together with youngsters Jack Baxter and Ethan Walker.
They are under contract until June 2022, as are Jayden Stockley, Joe Rafferty, Brad Potts, Jordan Storey, Patrick Bauer, Scott Sinclair and Connor Ripley.
Tom Bayliss is contracted until summer 2023 having penned a four-year deal when he signed from Coventry City last August.
North End boss Alex Neil hopes new contracts can be sorted with some of the squad but that is not a side of the club’s business he deals directly with.
Neil said: “There are quite a few open ends in terms of contracts which we would like to get sorted.
“All I can do is make recommendations, then it is up to the player, agent and club to sit down and get it resolved.
“I’m trying to push that as much as I can but I’m not in complete control of that.
“I don’t deal with money, the money is not my bag.
“What I do is focus on the team, getting the team ready.”
Meanwhile, winger Bodin is set have minor surgery to clear up the Achilles tendon injury which has sidelined him since January.
Bodin,27, has been back running recently but needs debris from the injury flushed out – that has been causing him some discomfort.
Neil said: “Billy is going to need that cleared up so he’s not going to be available for a bit.”