PNE boss eyes transfer targets

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson
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Simon Grayson is already looking beyond Christmas to the January transfer window as he looks to bolster Preston’s squad for the second half of the season.

The PNE boss has targets in mind for the New Year and has identified areas of the team which he wants to add to.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “Where we strengthen has been on my mind for the last month, if not longer.

“We have been looking at players every week to see what will improve us – we have got people earmarked who we want to get.

“It is not the case where the day before the window opens, we think ‘who do we want to get in’?

“We had targets before the loan window closed last month and as the deadline came up we thought we had two or three players coming in, only for it to suddenly change overnight.

“Different targets might now become available in the January window, whether to buy permanently, loan to the end of the season or bring in on emergency loans.

“We will explore all of the different options to strengthen the squad and whoever comes in has to be better than what we have already got.”

Whether trialist Sylvan Ebanks-Blake comes into the equation as an option will depend on how he does in an extended trial spell.

The former Wolves striker has been training with North End for the last two weeks and Grayson wants to run the rule over him well into January.

Should they need an extra body in the meantime, there is always the option of offering him a short-term deal – being a free agent, he can sign outside of the transfer window.

Said Grayson: “Sylvan has been with us for 10-11 days.

“I spoke with his agent as I felt it was a nice opportunity for us to get some fitness work into him, for us to look at him and him to look at us.

“I mentioned a few weeks ago that there was a list of players who still hadn’t got contracts anywhere, some of them with fantastic quality and experience.

“Sylvan certainly fits into that category, he has played in the Premier League and at the top end of the Championship.

“It is about getting him fit and we will have a look at him for as long as need to.

“I’m quite happy to do that, we did it with Alex Nimely not so long ago and with one or two other players.

“In terms of fitness, Sylvan is a little bit behind but he has been working hard and doing extra work.

“It is difficult for players in these circumstances. He is among a group of players who didn’t sign for anyone in the summer.

“They go out on trial to try and earn a contract but are not quite up to speed with the rest of the players, it then becomes a bit stop-start for them.

“We have told Sylvan he can stay as long as he wants and we will see how it goes.

“There is no point him being here for just a few days, we are going to give him the chance to do himself justice.

“I would expect him to be here for at least a month to get his fitness up and get some game time in him.

“He is happy with that and we will look after him.”