MIDFIELDER Dean Marney has signed a new two-year deal with Burnley, but the Clarets look set to lose player of the season Lee Grant in the summer.

The club’s quest to cut the wage bill has led to lengthy negotiations with players whose contracts were due to expire after this season.

Of the seven senior squad figures up for renewal, so far only three have re-signed on similar or reduced terms.

Marney is the latest to commit to the club, following on from winger Ross Wallace and young defender Kevin Long, who have also both penned two-year extensions.

Michael Duff has trigged a 12-month extension, based on appearances, but the futures of midfielder Chris McCann, striker Martin Paterson and goalkeepers Brian Jensen and Grant have yet to be finalised.

It was believed progress was being made with Grant.

But Derby County appear to have stolen a march on their Championship rivals.

The 30-year-old, who pipped top scorer Charlie Austin to the supporters’ clubs’ player of the year prize this week, is understood to be lined up for a return to Pride Park, where he came through the youth ranks to launch his professional career.

Grant could end the season as Burnley’s only ever present in the league on Saturday. The former Sheffield Wednesday keeper has contributed to 11 clean sheets in 45 Championship games so far.

Speaking after picking up four of the supporters’ club branches player of the year prizes, compared to Austin’s three, he said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all to be honest.

“Probably along with the rest of the lads you’re just presuming Charlie and his goals he’s going to clean up, so I’m obviously delighted.”

He admitted the Clarets’ top scorer had helped to bring out the best in his own performance this season.

“I’ve certainly made use of Charlie this year, with penalties most definitely,” said the stopper.

“It’s something I’ve learnt, when you’ve got someone with the ability he has you want to draw on that. It’s not just Charlie, there are a couple of other lads that I spend a lot of time working with after training.

“It’s been good. It’s just a case of learning, training habits and taking different things (on board) and I think that’s maybe something that I didn’t do at first. It’s something I’ve made a point of doing a bit more so this year.”

But, a firm believer that goalkeepers improve with age, he is adamant the best is yet to come.

“It’s a bit of a boring one because everyone says it, but it’s probably true,” he added.

“I’d like to think I’m only halfway through my career in terms of the length of time I want to play so hopefully things will continue to get better for me,” said Grant, who aspires to have the career longevity that peers including Brad Friedel and Neil Sullivan have enjoyed.

“I do, yes, because those guys have obviously played at the top level and they’re doing it at 40-plus.

“I’m looking to try to do the same thing in terms of the length of time I want to continue to play.

“I certainly look at those guys for inspiration.”

Meanwhile, Burnley’s recruitment reshuffle has been hit by the exit of senior scout Lee Maybury. The former Portsmouth scout is understood to have resigned on Tuesday, just three months after being promoted, and is set to join Stoke City’s European scouting network next week.