Left-back set to sign for PNE

Greg Cunningham has won four Republic of Ireland caps
Greg Cunningham has won four Republic of Ireland caps
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Greg Cunningham is set to sign for Preston today, fresh from a weekend of getting to know his new team-mates in Scotland.

The Bristol City left-back has agreed a two-year deal and will move for an undisclosed fee – he had 12 months left on his Robins contract.

Cunningham flew back from City’s pre-season training camp in Portugal to meet up with PNE officials on Friday.

He watched North End’s 2-1 victory over Motherwell at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium and underwent a medical in Glasgow on Saturday.

The 24-year-old was given permission by City to train with Preston yesterday and today ahead of the paperwork being completed and registered with the Football League.

Providing there are no late hitches, Cunningham could get some game-time in tomorrow night’s friendly at Carlisle.

North End first showed an interest in him earlier in the summer but it is understood that City did not want to let him leave.

Two other targets were looked at, before talks late last week with the Ashon Gate club – promoted as champions from League One – saw the deal agreed.

PNE spent the weekend north of the border, combining training sessions at Strathclyde University with some team bonding exercises.

That time enabled Cunningham to get to know the rest of the squad.

On Saturday morning, the players did a recovery session following the Motherwell game. They watched Celtic’s 2-0 friendly win over Rennes in the afternoon, before taking part in an inter-squad go-karting competition.

Yesterday, they had a double training session and were doing so again today.

Tomorrow afternoon they will travel down to Carlisle ahead of the Brunton Park friendly.

Cunningham started off his career at Manchester City, playing five first-team games.

While on City’s books, he had loan spells with Leicester and Nottingham Forest in the Championship.

He joined Bristol City in July 2012 for an undisclosed fee and made 108 appearances for them.

Last season, Cunningham played in 32 league and cup games, with 15 of those starts.

He has been capped four times by the Republic of Ireland.

North End had been on the look-out for a left-back since the departures of Scott Laird and David Buchanan.

Calum Woods finished last season in possession of the left-back jersey and has played there in some of the 
pre-season friendlies.

However, he is likely to miss the Carlisle game and perhaps Bury on Saturday after tweaking his hamstring an hour into the Motherwell victory.

Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson said: “Calum went up for a ball and felt his hamstring a little bit.

“Hopefully it is nothing too serious.”