PNE striker on the radar of Championship rivals

North End striker Jordan Hugill
North End striker Jordan Hugill
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Preston’s Jordan Hugill looks to be a striker in demand again following reported interest from Wolves.

The Lilywhites spent much of January batting off interest from Ipswich in Hugill.

With the dust still settling on the season, Wolves have been linked with a £2m bid for the 24-year-old.

That was the same amount Ipswich offered in the January window, so it is unlikely North End would be tempted by that price.

Although Hugill divides opinion among some PNE fans, there is no denying that he has had a good season.

He finished as top scorer with 13 goals, 12 of those in the Championship.

His solo goal in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa in January was voted goal of the season by supporters.

Hugill made 35 starts in the league and had a role in all but two Championship matches.

Ipswich made two bids in the January window, £1.5m and then £2m, both of which were rejected.

This was his breakthrough season with the club in terms of being a regular starter

North End stressed they wanted to keep the majority of the squad together – they also saw off strong interest in Callum Robinson during the January window.

Simon Grayson has spoken of a similar stance for this summer as he looks to build a squad to push on from this season.

“I would be surprised if one or two clubs don’t enquire about our players during the summer,” said Deepdale boss Grayson.

“We are not encouraging it and a good thing in our favour is that we don’t have to sell any of our players.

“That is something we have shown recently – anyone we have sold has been for the benefit of the club.”

Hugill has two years to run on his contract, having signed a new deal last September.

Preston got the majority of their squad on longer-terms deals early last season.

That is why the retained list only had Jermaine Beckford, Anders Lindegaard and Clive Smith being freed after they reached the end of their deals.

Said Grayson: “We were forward-thinking as a club, getting our best players tied down.

“There might be extended contracts this summer for one or two of the players who have done well – we will analyse the situation because we want to keep our best players.

“It is a nice position to be in that we have a lot of the squad under contract.

“What you don’t want is to be releasing 11 or 12 players every summer.

“If you’re having to do that, you won’t get consistency.

“The majority of this group have been together for quite a long time, hence why we have done well.”