Former Barnsley defender signs deal with Preston North End after trial period

Preston North End have signed ex-Barnsley defender Bambo Diaby on a deal until the end of the season.

The 24-year-old has been on trial with North End since December and has now earned a contract, with the opportunity to impress further before the summer.

In October 2020, Barnsley terminated the defender's contract by mutual consent after he was suspended from all football and football-related activity for two years following a breach of the Football Association's anti-doping regulations.

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Diaby joined the Tykes from Belgian outfit Lokeren on a four-year deal in the summer of 2019 but was suspended from first-team duties in January 2020 while the Football Association investigated reports that he failed a drugs test.

He is now eligible to play again and is in contention for Preston as they prepare to take on Millwall on Tuesday evening.

“I’m very excited to sign with Preston because it’s been a long time. It’s been the thing I’ve been waiting for. Every day I’ve been training very hard to get to this day," said Diaby.

“Because after a long time it’s difficult, but Preston have believed in me since the first day. I want to give back with big work and big passion for the club.”

Preston Manager Ryan Lowe added: “He’s got a fantastic attitude and his application has been spot on. He’s trained on a daily basis for us and he’s looked sharp.

BAMBO DIABY: Has joined Preston after returning to football following his two-year ban. Picture: Getty Images.

“He’s different to what we’ve got. He can play in a few different positions around the back and probably right wing back, so we’ve offered him a short-term deal until the end of the season to go and showcase what he’s got to potentially earn a longer contract.

“He’s very humble. He’s had a kick in the teeth, he’s been out for two years and he’s very eager now to put that behind him and get on a streak.

“First and foremost [he has to] get in the squad and then get in the team and showcase what he’s about.”

Barnsley host Preston at the end of April in their final home game of the season before concluding the campaign at West Brom on May 7.