Preston North End offer new contract to long-serving Paul Huntington
Preston North End have added Paul Huntington to the group of players they are hoping to agree new contracts with.
Huntington is closing in on making 300 appearances for PNE, having joined them in the summer 2012.
The central defender has been offered fresh terms in a bid to extend his long stay at Deepdale.
Much of the contract focus has been on the ‘big four’ of Ben Pearson, Ben Davies, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson.
The latest offers to them went on the table last month and talks are ongoing.
The quartet, together with Huntington, are all out of contract next summer.
Huntington, 33, has had more of a look-in over the past month and North End are keen to retain his experience.
The Cumbrian was PNE’s player of the year in 2014/15 when he was a regular in the defence and scored nine goals on the way to promotion from League One.
With regard to the waiting game over Pearson, Davies, Browne and Johnson, PNE manager Alex Neil says he discusses the situation with them but ultimately cannot influence the financial side of things.
Neil wants them to stay and having four key men out of contract soon is clearly a worry for him.
“I talk to the lads but at the end of the day it is not my money,” said Neil.
“It’s not really for me to discuss what they can and can’t get, I won’t be the deciding factor in that.
“Yes, I will talk to them, I want them to stay and part of what we are trying to do because it gives us a better chance. That is pretty much as far as it goes.”
Neil hopes he will hear some good news on the contract front at some stage.
Obviously this is a key month in negotiations, with the January transfer window fast approaching.
“I do try and get a steer on what’s going on,” said Neil.
“When you are dealing with this kind of situation, it is a little bit delicate isn’t it?
“They are trying to do the best they can for themselves for the future.
“The club is trying to do the best for itself and for the club’s future. That is just normal.
“You want your best players to stay, when you put your best players in the team you play better. That is not rocket science.”
As North End attempt to get their big four signed up, so too Huntington, that still leaves a number of others out of contract this summer.
Darnell Fisher, Billy Bodin, Paul Gallagher, Louis Moult and David Nugent reach the end of their deals then.
It is a surprise that Fisher, currently serving a three-match ban, has got this far into his current deal without a fresh offer being made.
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