Preston North End's planning for next season could include new deal for 24-year-old defender

Preston North End’s planning for next season is gathering pace in the background as the current campaign reaches the final stages.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 12:30 pm

There had to be a pause to looking to the future during the recent takeover attempt but with that now in the past, the focus on 2022/23 is very much at the forefront of minds.

Contracts will be a big part of the summer, more so the number of players whose current deals end in June.

Around a dozen players either in the first-team squad or on the fringes are out of contract soon, with that providing the opportunity to create space in the squad and on the wage bill.

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Preston North End defender Bambo Diaby in action against Bournemouth in March

A number of those have played very little football or non at all at first-team level this season, which points to them heading for the Deepdale exit.

One player who could well land a new deal though, is defender Bambo Diaby.

In January the 24-year-old signed a contract until the end of the season after training with North End since November.

The incentive was there for Diaby to earn a longer stay and while he’s had limited game time, he has been impressing in training.

His full debut came in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth when he caught the eye, with him then starting the 0-0 draw at Cardiff City the following week.

He was below par in the 4-0 defeat at Luton and since the return to action after the international break, has been on the bench.

Diaby would be another option in a defence which could lose the services of Sepp van den Berg who is nearing the end of a second loan spell from Liverpool.

North End have been in contact with Liverpool about what next season holds for Van den Berg, likewise they’ve talked with Leicester City and Aston Villa about Daniel Iversen and Cameron Archer respectively.

On the youth front, PNE last week triggered scholarship extensions on Mikey O’Neill and Aaron Bennett and offered them professional contracts.

All North End’s scholars have an extra year’s option on them in the club’s favour.

Triggering the extra year for O’Neill and Bennett is a short-term measure while their professional deals are sorted out.

Others approaching the end of their second year are still being assessed, the option being there to extend the scholarship or offer a professional deal.