Preston boss Ryan Lowe has hinted that he may be targeting a couple of centre back signings this summer even with Bambo Diaby in talks over a new deal.
North End’s season came to an end last weekend, beating Middlesbrough 4-1 in a superb afternoon at Deepdale.
The hard work for Lowe will soon begin as he looks to reshape this Preston squad moving forward.
13 players won’t have their contracts renewed this summer and another three players have been transfer listed.
Add in four loan players returning to their parent clubs and that’s 20 players on the way out this summer.
Defender Diaby is the only out of contract player to be offered new terms.
The centre back joined Preston on trial in December before eventually earning a contract under Lowe.
Diaby showed great potential for a player who hadn’t played in two years, but there were some scary moments too.
The hope is that Diaby will sign on and stay put, but could there be other centre backs coming in?
Lowe has spoken to the Lancashire Evening Post about Diaby’s future and offered one particularly interesting comment.
“With the contract offer he has got the opportunity to do that and he is going to be fighting it out with the other centre-backs and maybe one or two more if they come in,” said Lowe.
Lowe clearly hinted there that Preston could end up signing a couple of central defenders this summer – so where could they arrive?
The natural guess is that a right-sided centre back is needed to replace Sepp van den Berg after his return to Liverpool.
Patrick Bauer and Diaby would probably battle in the middle of Lowe’s back three, with Andrew Hughes manning the left side.
We wouldn’t be all that surprised if Jordan Storey or Liam Lindsay left the club this summer, with neither suited all that ideally to play as wide centre backs in Lowe’s style due to the time spent on the ball and needing to be mobile in the channels.
Greg Cunningham and Josh Earl are also options on the left side but neither are absolutely nailed-on to be at Preston come the first day of the season.
Much of the focus has been on a new goalkeeper, new wing backs and another couple of strikers.
Those signings may well happen but Lowe may also fancy re-tooling his back three with not one but two new additions this summer.