Preston North End hoping to seal a new deal for 24-year-old defender

Preston North End are aiming to bring contract talks with Bambo Diaby to a successful conclusion in the coming days.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 6:00 am

The 24-year-old defender was the only senior out-of-contract player in the PNE squad to be offered a new deal when the retained list was announced a fortnight ago.

He’d signed a short-term contract in January to cover the remainder of the season and did enough in games and training to convince Ryan Lowe that he was worth an extended stay.

Diaby has been abroad on holiday but talks with his representatives are understood to have been positive and it is hoped it won’t be long before he puts pen to paper.

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Preston North End defender Bambo Diaby

At PNE’s end-of-season awards, Diaby was named the PFA Community Champion for being heavily involved with the PNE Community and Education Trust’s work in their Ramadan initiatives with the local Muslim community.

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The centre-half started training with North End in November as a two-year anti-doping ban from football neared its conclusion.

That trial spell continued when Lowe took over as PNE manager and by the end of January, Lowe felt Diaby was worthy of a contract offer so that his progress could continue to be tracked.

Preston North End's Mikey O'Neill and Bambo Diaby ahead of the Gentry Day game at Barnsley in April

Diaby made his North End debut in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth at Deepdale, helping to keep Cherries top-scorer Dominic Solanke quiet.

In all he made four starts and came off the bench three times, two of those substitute appearances being full second-half run-outs at Fulham and Barnsley.

There’s work to be done with Diaby’s game, that not a surprise considering he was out of football for two years because of the ban for having traces of banned substance higenamine in his system.

If he signs, he would be one of five centre-halves in the senior squad together with Patrick Bauer, Liam Lindsay, Andrew Hughes and Jordan Storey.

Sepp van den Berg has returned to Liverpool after two loan spells, while Paul Huntington was released after 10 years at Deepdale.

Storey spent the second-half of the season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, helping them reach the League One play-off semi-finals.

He’s set to start pre-season training with North End next month in the hope of catching Lowe’s eye and being part of his plans.