Carlisle United have extended the deals of Aaron Hayden and Lewis Alessandra - keeping the pair at Brunton Park for next season.

The Blues have activated options in the two players' contracts.

With terms now finalised, United have confirmed that centre-half and vice-captain Hayden and experienced forward Alessandra will both remain with the club for the 2021/22 campaign.

The news follows yesterday's extended deals for Joe Riley, Jack Armer, Taylor Charters and Josh Dixon.

Blues director of football David Holdsworth said he would like influential defender Hayden to stay even longer.

Speaking on the club website, he said: “I had a really good chat with Aaron today and I would love him to stay at this club for even longer, beyond the duration of next season.

“We might be looking to extend this after some further talks, when the time is right, but the important thing is that in the meantime he’ll be here for next year, with us having taken up this option in his current contract.”

Hayden has become a key part of United's defence having forced his way into the side under Chris Beech last season.

The ex-Wolves man, 24, has made 46 appearances this campaign and has captained the side in recent weeks.

Alessandra, meanwhile, is also on board for a further campaign in Cumbria having been a regular member of United's attack in the past season-and-a-half.

Holdsworth added: “Lewis is an experienced and very good professional.

“He’s been very good for us from the moment he arrived and we’re delighted he’s on board for next season.

“At the age of 32 he looks after himself very well. He sets a fantastic example and he’s a positive influence in the dressing room and out on the pitch.”