Contract is reward for Ched Evans impressing in Preston North End frontline
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A two-year deal for the Welshman was announced by PNE yesterday, one which runs until June 2023.
Evans has started the last 14 games, a run stretching back to early February.
He has scored three goals in that spell, against Rotherham, Huddersfield and Millwall. Although that is hardly prolific, North End like the physical presence he brings to the forward line.
The 32-year-old was initially signed on loan from Fleetwood Town for the rest of the season in the January transfer window.
That loan was turned into a short-term permanent deal after the window shut due to the high number of loan players the Lilywhites had in their squad.
It was agreed then with Evans that him impressing would see talks open over a longer-term contract.
Middlesbrough were believed to have shown a strong interest in taking him to the Riverside Stadium on a Bosman in the summer.
With that in mind, North End entered into negotiations with him.
Evans told PNE’s official website: “I take massive pride in people wanting me to stay at their club.
“There were other offers on the table, but for me, I would rather be happy here and when the fans do come back, they will know what I am about.”
Evans’ new deal is the start of what is set to be a busy time for North End both on the contract front and in the transfer market.
The biggest task of the lot will be the appointment of a new manager.
But following that there are the futures of a number of players to sort out.
They have five loanees on the books – Daniel Iverson, Sepp van den Berg, Anthony Gordon, Jayson Molumby and Liam Lindsay.
Greg Cunningham is on a short-term deal until the end of the season, the left-back having like Evans, initially arrived on loan.
Billy Bodin, Louis Moult and Paul Gallagher are out of contract this summer.
Looking beyond that, a dozen or so players will enter the final year of their current contracts in July.
They include Jordan Storey, Patrick Bauer, Tom Barkhuizen, Scott Sinclair and Brad Potts.
Meanwhile, North End’s visit to Stoke on Saturday has been given an earlier kick-off to avoid a clash with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
The game at the bet365 Stadium now starts at 12.30pm having initially been scheduled for 3pm.
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