PNE aim to bring in front man

Transfer time? Graham Westley may make a move for a striker
Transfer time? Graham Westley may make a move for a striker
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Preston North End were hoping to make headway today in their bid to bring a new striker to Deepdale.

Improving the quality of the forward line is high priority in the January transfer window and negotiations continued over the weekend to land one of their targets.

It is understood that North End are chasing the front man’s permanent signature rather than trying to land him on loan.

Some room has been created on the wage bill by the departures of Chris Holroyd, Anthony Elding and Todd Kane.

The remaining few months of Holroyd’s contract have been cancelled by mutual consent – he is now a free agent and able to find a new club.

He had been expected to join Macclesfield after being on loan there since August, but the striker is believed to want to stay in the Football League.

Elding is back at Grimsby at the end of his six-week loan spell, with North End not pursuing an extended stay.

Teenager Kane’s loan from Chelsea came to an end after the 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Millwall on Saturday, a game in which he was substituted at half-time.

As well as looking to sign a striker, an injury to John Mousinho might force PNE’s hand in the transfer market as far as a right-back is concerned.

The skipper tore his hamstring nine minutes from time at the New Den and looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Mousinho was playing at right-back in the absence of Keith Keane who won’t be back from knee cartilage surgery until next month.

PNE boss Graham Westley said: “Losing Mous who was already covering for Keane leaves us with more questions than answers.

“It’s not as straight forward as just going out and getting someone, we are limited by our squad budget

“We can’t go with the begging bowl to the club and ask to go beyond the budget because there’s the rules we have to stick to.”

Westley saw a 31st minute deflected goal from Liam Feeney end his side’s involvement in the FA Cup at the New Den.

North End were much better in the second half than they had been in the first, coming close twice in the dying minutes to an equaliser through Stuart Beavon and Graham Cummins.

Said Westley: “The second half was pretty much one-way traffic although Millwall had a couple of moments when they countered on us.

“There were some good moments for us and we put enough good play together, but it was the same old story from our point of view.

“If we put good play together but don’t put the ball in the net, then we have to take a long hard look at ourselves and look where we can improve.”

Westley feels the injury suffered by Mousinho could be down to the amount of travelling down in recent weeks.

It was his right hamstring which went on Saturday, the 26-year-old having torn his left on the opening day of the season.

“We’ve had plenty of trips and journeys in the last three or four weeks,” said Westley.

“When you are sleeping in different beds, and sitting on coaches and trains, you’re always going to be a little bit susceptable to strains whatever work you do.

“We’ve picked up one or two strains in the last few weeks.”