Blackburn Rovers are close to agreeing a new contract with Harry Pickering and are set to open talks with Dom Hyam, The Lancashire Telegraph can reveal.

Sam Szmodics was the latest player to commit his future to the club, signing a one-year extension on his deal last week, which now runs until 2026 with the option of a further year. That was a reward for his fantastic form and to give the club added security over his future.

Proactive contract renewals have been a huge part of Gregg Broughton's plan to increase value in the Rovers squad. He inherited a bad situation where Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rothwell all walked away for nothing whilst Ben Brereton Diaz had been allowed to enter the final year of his terms and also left for free.

Since coming in, Rovers have tied down their homegrown talent and also their senior players. Aynsley Pears, Joe Rankin-Costello, Hayden Carter, Scott Wharton, Jake Garrett, John Buckley, Adam Wharton, Jake Batty and Ash Phillips have all agreed new deals since Broughton arrived. 

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Pickering will be the next in line, with talks at an advanced stage. There is hope an announcement could be made in the next 10 days over his new deal.

The left-back signed from Crewe Alexandra in January 2021 on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The 24-year-old is now in the last 18 months of his contract and Rovers have therefore moved to tie him down.

Pickering has started 16 of Rovers' 19 Championship matches this season and featured 40 times last season. He has been an automatic pick under Tomasson and has established himself as a consistent Championship defender.

Hyam could be the next on the list. It's understood that the club have expressed their interest in tying down the defender, who has been fantastic since signing for the club 18 months ago.

Like Pickering, his current deal runs until 2025 and so extending the 27-year-old's terms makes perfect sense. Hyam is said to love the club and would be very interested in extending his stay at Ewood Park.

Although he is currently out with an ankle injury, Hyam's consistency and durability has been impressive since coming to Rovers. He was named vice-captain last season and is seen as a leader in the dressing room.

Chief Executive Steve Waggott outlined that contract renewals would be part of Rovers' plan of attack ahead of the January transfer window. Speaking at a fans' forum last month, he explained that ensuring their assets within the squad were tied down would be part of their strategy.

Tyrhys Dolan and Sam Gallagher are the only senior players out of contract in 2024. However, the club have the option to extend both deals by 12 months, should they wish to.

The Lancashire Telegraph revealed in November that talks with Dolan have been put on pause after a tricky start of the season. Sadly, he is now out of action for two months with a knee injury.