Preston North End Hold “Constructive Talks” With Midfielder

Preston North End may not see many players coming to Deepdale before the January transfer window closes but the club are keen to tie down the futures of some key first-team members.

There are several Preston players out of contract at the end of the campaign, including club captain Alan Browne and first-choice midfielder Ben Whiteman, as well as Ched Evans, Liam Millar and Greg Cunningham, among others.

Goalkeeper David Cornell put pen to paper on a new contract this past week, having signed a deal which will run until 2026. Despite his limited minutes on the pitch this season under Ryan Lowe, the head coach admitted that he “really deserves this new deal”.

The Lilywhites are not expecting new arrivals this season due to a necessity to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, which has reportedly ended the promotion hopefuls’ pursuit of Crewe Alexandra’s £500,000 centre-back Connor O’Riordan.

However, club director Peter Risdale recently spoke to BBC Radio Lancashire where he revealed that Preston are currently in talks with both Browne and Whiteman about penning new deals, claiming that “constructive talks” have been held with the latter [quotes via The Lancashire Post]:

“We’ve got Alan, who we are talking to – marginally more complicated because he doesn’t have an agent. So, he talks to us when he feels like talking to us.

“Ben Whiteman, we have had very constructive talks over the last few days and I am hopeful that will be sorted sooner rather than later. We’ve got other players out of contract in the summer, some of whom we want to stay with us and some we aren’t sure on, yet.”

“There is only a risk we lose them for nothing if they don’t stay. With Ben, we obviously paid a transfer fee for him so, ideally, we’d like to make sure we don’t lose him for nothing. But also, we’d like him to stay.”

Risdale also made interesting comments regarding outgoings, claiming that there have been no offers from other clubs for any of Preston North End’s players:

“The other thing which makes me smile – I have had a few people text me to say ‘well are you going to sell them if they don’t sign’. To sell anything, you need to have somebody who wants to buy. And, as we sit here today, I have got no offers on the table for any of our players.

“Of course, in the ideal world, you would (want it sorted now) but we don’t live in an ideal world.”

Writer’s View
Whatever happens in the future with Browne and Whiteman, among a host of other out-of-contract players, they will at least play at Deepdale for the remainder of the campaign, according to Risdale’s comments, which is a positive at least.
However, potentially losing both players within the next six months could be really detrimental to Lowe’s plans for Preston beyond next season so the club will need to secure their future as soon as possible.
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