Preston set for contract discussions with existing members of squad
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The Lilywhites have around a dozen players in the final year of their current deals and offers will be made to some of them to extend.
Patrick Bauer, Jordan Storey and Tom Barkhuizen are likely to be among the first group of players who North End will seek to tie down.
During the summer, the transfer window had PNE’s attention in the main.
That closed last Tuesday night with Ali McCann signed from St Johnstone and Josh Murphy coming on loan from Cardiff very late on.
Looking at the players in the last year of their deals, Bauer is now back fit after rupturing his Achilles tendon last December.
The German defender got game time in pre-season to build-up his fitness and then was eased back into action as the season started.
His first competitive game came at Mansfield in the Carabao Cup, with Bauer having started the last two Championship games against Peterborough and Swansea.
Fellow centre-half Storey is one of only two players to have started all five league games this season – Andrew Hughes is the other.
Storey signed a four-year contract when he joined from Exeter City in June 2018.
Covid has restricted Barkhuizen’s involvement this season.
The winger has been on a phased return since having the virus, the fact he suffers from asthma not having helped his recovery.
Others whose contracts are up in June 2022 include Hughes, Scott Sinclair, Joe Rafferty, Paul Huntington, Josh Harrop, Mathew Hudson, Adam O’Reilly, Connor Ripley, Ethan Walker and Jack Baxter.
Some will be offered new deals, others not.
The current contract situation doesn’t quite compare with last season when high-end players Ben Davies, Ben Pearson, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson had all got into the final few months of their deals.
Davies and Pearson were to leave in the winter window for reduced fees, with Browne and Johnson eventually penning new contracts.
The North End squad were returning to training at Euxton today after being given a long weekend off.
They still have players away on international duty, so it is likely to be Thursday before Frankie McAvoy has everyone back to work with.
The reserves play against Walsall tomorrow afternoon at Euxton (2pm) which will give some players the chance to get match sharpness into their legs. Trialist Connor Wickham is set to feature as he bids to earn a contract.
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