Garner talks continue as Gers make a bid

Preston were due to have further talks with Joe Garner today in a bid to resolve his future amid Rangers' interest in taking him to Ibrox.

Monday, 15th August 2016, 5:00 am
Joe Garner challenges Fulham's Michael Madl at Deepdale

Summer speculation linking Garner with a move north of the border was firmed up over the weekend with the Glasgow club making an offer.

It is understood that the Lilywhites have yet to respond to Rangers and want to talk with Garner before deciding on their next move.

They do not want things dragging on though, with a busy programme of matches ahead of them.

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Tomorrow, they face Derby County at Deepdale and then go to QPR at the weekend.

Garner played in the 2-1 home defeat to Fulham on Saturday as the speculation intensified.

After making an initial enquiry, Rangers followed that up with an undisclosed offer.

North End manager Simon Grayson confirmed after the game that Rangers had been in touch.

Grayson said PNE’s stance was that they did not want to sell Garner but also stated that every player at any club had their price.

The 28-year-old has plenty of thinking to do now that Rangers have shown their hand.

His wages would increase at Ibrox and there is the lure of their history and tradition.

But the standard of Scottish football is not what it once was and that is something Garner will need to consider.

He spoke with Grayson about the situation, both before Saturday’s match and against yesterday morning.

Grayson said: “If we sell any player, it will be for the best value we can get for him.

“No player will leave this club on a cheap deal because we don’t need to sell players.

“The only way a player leaves this club, and I’m not just talking about Joe Garner here, is if the player wants to leave himself as well.

“It is flattering that a club like Rangers are looking at our players but we don’t need to sell.

“We are not actively looking to sell Joe. He is an integral part of this club.”

Garner has two years left on his Preston contract, so the clock is not yet ticking on having to cash in on him.

Away from the speculation, Grayson rued a slow start by his side in the loss to Fulham.

The Cottagers had much the better of the first half and took the lead through Sone Aluko.

It was a lead which Matt Smith doubled in the second period, just as it looked like Preston were getting back into the game.

Callum Robinson came off the bench to cut the deficit and fellow sub Jermaine Beckford saw a late header find the net, only for the effort to be ruled out by an offside flag.

Turning his thoughts to the visit of Derby tomorrow night, Grayson said: “The games are coming thick and fast – we have seven games in August.

“It is a case of recovering quickly and doing as much as we can to prepare for it.

“We will possibly freshen the side up tomorrow night.”