PNE boss aims to be a keeper

Sam Johnstone says farewell to the PNE fans after the Brentford game
Sam Johnstone says farewell to the PNE fans after the Brentford game
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson will target a permanent first-choice goalkeeper in the summer after being forced into another change between the posts.

The Lilywhites made a third dip into the loan market for a keeper this season, signing Anders Lindegaard from West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Lindegaard replaces Sam Johnstone who is going back to Manchester United at the end of his 28-day loan.

Attempts were made to buy Johnstone last week but United did not want to sell, nor extend his loan until the end of the season.

Grayson says that trying to sign him again this summer is a possibility.

But for now, he is happy to have secured Lindegaard for the rest of the season – he becomes the first Danish player to join North End.

The 31-year-old is set to make his debut at Derby a week tomorrow.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “We have a good record with goalkeepers but they have always been other people’s players.

“We have got to look at the situation in the summer and try to get someone for the long term.

“In the short term, Sam came in and did a job, as did Jordan Pickford before that. Anders will pick up where they left off.”

Johnstone’s second loan spell ended in a 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.

The loan officially runs out this Saturday but North End are without a game at the weekend.

Said Grayson: “We tried to sign Sam permanently last summer and we tried to buy him again last week.

“That shows what we think of the lad and shows the intent that we have for the future.”

Asked if PNE would try again for Johnstone this summer, Grayson said: “That might be an option.

“We are in the hands of another club and they will do what they think is right for them.”

New boy Lindegaard has big links with United himself, having spent four-and-a-half years at Old Trafford.

He left the Red Devils to join Albion last August on a free transfer.

But his only appearance for the Baggies came in a Capital One Cup defeat at Norwich.

Grayson said: “Anders is excited about coming, he has great experience and wants to play regular first-team football.

“He could quite easily have stayed around Albion’s first-team squad but he wanted to come here.

“I think it is a big signing for us and he can help the club push forward.”