Netting a keeper is priority for PNE

Declan Rudd has returned to Norwich least for now
Declan Rudd has returned to Norwich least for now
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Preston North End have drawn up a list of goalkeeper targets for the summer should they be unable to bring Declan Rudd back to Deepdale next season.

Rudd is back with Norwich following his season-long loan in which he was ever-present in PNE’s league campaign.

The Lilywhites would love to have him back for 2014/15 but have a few hurdles to get over in order for that to happen.

So in case those prove to be insurmountable, North End are looking at potential replacements.

They are looking at both permanent and loan options, the Premier League always being a good source of younger keepers who clubs are willing to lend out to get experience.

Rudd first came to Preston in January last year and went on to play 14 games in the second half of the 2013/14 campaign.

Then last summer he joined for the whole of the season just finished, making 55 appearances.

Norwich are currently assessing their goalkeeping options for next term – they have already released former PNE keeper Carlo Nash.

Much will hinge on the future of John Ruddy, who is the Canaries’ first choice.

If he stays at Carrow Road, then 22-year-old Rudd could be loaned out again or sold.

But should Ruddy move on in order to stay in the Premier League, Rudd could challenge to be first choice.

New Norwich manager Neil Adams, appointed last week after a spell as caretaker boss, was the Canaries’ Under-18s coach when Rudd came through their junior ranks.

PNE have two keepers signed up for next season in Thorsten Stuckmann and Steven James, the club having taken out a 12-month option on teenager James last week.

Meanwhile, North End have arranged a Deepdale friendly with Liverpool for the second year running.

It takes place on Saturday, July 19, kick-off 3pm, and will be the first home pre-season game of the summer for Simon Grayson’s side.

The sides will again contest the Shankly Shield which Liverpool lifted last summer after winning 4-0 thanks to goals from Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Ibe, Raheem Sterling and Iago Aspas.

That game, which attracted a 21,119 crowd, proved a decent revenue earner for North End.

They shared gate receipts with Liverpool and also sold overseas broadcasting rights to several countries.

PNE boss Grayson and the Reds’ head of fitness Ryland Morgans were team-mates in their playing days at Leicester, which led to the friendly being arranged.

l North End defender Bailey Wright has taken a step closer to being in Australia’s World Cup squad.

He was named in the 27-man Socceroos party which set off for Brazil today. The squad will be trimmed to 23 next week.

The 21-year-old is now the only uncapped player in the Aussie squad, striker Ben Halloran having made his first appearance in Monday’s 1-1 draw with South Africa.

Wright, an unused substitute in the South Africa friendly, is one of seven defenders vying for a place.