Magpies’ Mike on PNE’s radar

Newcastle United's Mike Williamson
Newcastle United's Mike Williamson
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Preston North End have checked out Newcastle United centre-half Mike Williamson as they look to bolster their defence.

The Lilywhites enquired about a loan deal for the 31-year-old, who is out of favour at St James’ Park.

However, it is understood that Williamson does not want to leave the Magpies on loan, other clubs having got the same answer before the transfer window shut.

Williamson has made more than 160 appearances for Newcastle since joining them for £3m from Portsmouth in January 2010.

He has played just once in the first team this season that the 4-1 win over Northampton Town in the Capital One Cup.

North End boss Simon Grayson has made no secret of the fact he wants to bring another defender to the club.

A loan deal for a centre-half fell through on transfer deadline day after the target’s parent club were hit by injuries to defenders.

Football League clubs can sign players for a maximum 93 days during the loan window.

Talking generally about possible moves into the loan market, Grayson said: “We have had conversations with one or two clubs.

“Some said, ‘We will let you know’ while the answer, ‘No’ came back from others.

“The options are a bit narrower now that we’ve gone up. Players who you would like to sign from the Premier League are on big money and don’t necessarily want to come to the Championship.

“Then there aren’t too many clubs in the Championship who will loan you players who are going to enhance you.

“But there are still options out there and we will keep looking at ways we can strengthen.”