BLACKBURN Rovers managing director Derek Shaw will work with new manager Paul Lambert to decide which of the rest of his soon to be out of contract players he wants to offer new deals to.

Rovers last night handed young winger John O’Sullivan a 12-month contract extension having already tied down Northern Ireland international midfielder Corry Evans to a fresh three-and-a-half year deal.


And it is believed that negotiations are also progressing well with Scotland international winger Craig Conway.

And, while Markus Olsson has been a target for Derby County, Rovers want to keep the Sweden international left-back.

It is understood that the big-spending Rams did make an approach for the Ewood Park outfit’s reigning player of the year.

But Rovers told their Championship rivals that they have no desire to loan or sell Olsson who, like Conway, is set to be a free agent come the summer.

Nine other first-team players are also in the final year of their current contracts.

Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood, defenders Tommy Spurr, Matt Kilgallon, Darragh Lenihan, midfielders Chris Taylor, Lee Williamson and Sacha Petshi, and strikers Nathan Delfouneso and Chris Brown will all be out of contract come July.

Shaw said: “We are making progress but obviously it has changed a little bit with the change of manager.

“I’m sure Paul will want to assess his squad and once he has done that, from our side of things, we will work on his instruction.

“There are several players out of contract and we will work with the manager to keep the ones he wants to keep.”

Lambert, who only took over the Rovers reins last Monday, made his first signing yesterday when he brought Doneil Henry back on loan from West Ham United.

And it is believed he is still trying to make one final addition before the emergency loan window closes tomorrow.

But, speaking ahead of his side’s 2-1 victory at Preston North End on Saturday, Lambert admitted that the future of the players currently in his squad is on his list of priorities.

He said: “I know the lads that are out of contract and I’ll have a chat with them in the next few weeks.

“I’ll speak with them and see what they’re thinking as well. They’ve got to hear my views on things but I’ll do that in the next couple of years.”

On Thursday Evans put pen to paper on new terms tying him to Rovers until the summer of 2019.

And, speaking after the derby win over Preston, he admitted he was glad months of negotiation had come to a positive conclusion.

Evans said: “I’ve been in talks for a couple of months, it’s been rumbling on, so it was a relief to get it done.

“I wanted to stay here, it’s where I want to be, so it’s nice to have that piece of mind, where I know where my future is going to lie.”

Rovers lost 2-1 to Preston in a behind-closed-doors clash at Brockhall yesterday.