Preston North End’s long pursuit of Simon Makienok finally bore fruit yesterday with the Denmark striker agreeing to a season-long loan at Deepdale.
The 25-year-old – who has represented his country on six occasions – joins from Italian side Palermo, although he spent last season on loan at Championship rivals Charlton Athletic.
His time at The Valley ultimately proved to be an unhappy one as the Addicks suffered a difficult season both on and off the pitch.
The club suffered relegation to League One, while the season was marred by several fan protests over the way the club was run by its owners.
Nevetheless Makienok – who stands at 6ft 7in tall – caught the eye of PNE boss Simon Grayson for the way he led the line of a struggling team.
He scored five goals and made 37 appearances during his time in south east London.
Grayson said: “I am delighted to add Simon Makienok to our striking options.
“His height, plus of course his international experience, brings us a different dimension to the squad and provides us further options at the top end of the pitch.”
Makienok began his career with HB Køge before moving to Danish giants Brondby in the Superliga in 2012.
A record of 35 goals in 74 games helped him secure a £2m move to Serie A outfit Palermo, although his time in Italy has been restricted to just four substitute appearances.
Makienok becomes North End’s second capture of the summer, following the signing of Fleetwood Town goalkeeper Chris Maxwell last month.
Meanwhile, Bailey Wright made his 12th appearance for Australia in yesterday’s friendly against Greece at the Docklands Stadium, in Melbourne.
The PNE defender played the full 90 minutes but was unable to prevent the Socceroos from going down to a 2-1 defeat. Goals from Petros Mantalos and Giannis Maniatis in the opening 20 minutes handed the Greeks a comfortable lead at half-time.
Trent Salisbury pulled a goal back for the home side in the 58th minute, but the Aussie were unable to find an equaliser.
The victory for Greece was sweet revenge for the 1-0 loss they suffered against the Socceroos at the weekend – a match Wright missed through injury.
l Doubts surround one of Preston’s pre-season friendlies.
The club was scheduled to travel to Accrington on Saturday, July 16, but Stanley have revealed that no pre-season games will be staged at the Crown Ground due to ongoing work to the pitch.
Officials from both clubs are in discussions with regards to finding a solution.
North End have added a another game to their pre-season fixture list. A Lilywhites XI will face Lancaster City at Giant Axe on August 2 with a 7pm kick-off.