Simon Grayson accepts that a conclusion to contract talks with Joe Garner won’t happen ‘overnight’ but is hopeful of the Preston North End striker signing a new deal to extend his stay at Deepdale.
Lilywhites boss Grayson has had his say on the matter after it was reported that 24-goal Garner had turned down the offer of fresh terms.
The club were quick to point out that while negotiations have been taking place with Garner’s agent, no formal offer had been made for him to reject.
And talks with continue to try and find common ground between the wages which the 26-year-old wants and what PNE are willing to pay.
Grayson says that even if a deal cannot be struck, Garner is under contract until next June and Preston will not be looking to cash in.
“In the pre-season a lot of rumours go around about who you might bring in and who might go out,” Grayson told the Evening Post.
“The one which has hit the headlines as such here is Joe Garner and there is not a lot of truth about what came out recently.
“We are trying to sit round the table to discuss a new contract with Joe.
“I’m sure he is enjoying himself here and doesn’t want to leave.
“It is about getting the right deal for him and for the club, these things happen – contract negotiations never happen overnight.
“We are working to try and get something sorted, and there is obviously someone out there putting things about to ruffle a few feathers.
“This is a club which is in a really strong financial position with Mr Hemmings and we know we don’t have to sell any of our players.
“Every player does have his price as Manchester United have seen and all the other clubs in the world have, but we are in a position where it would have to be a big deal for us to accept an offer.
“But we are not actively looking to do that, we are aiming to get all our good players on longer contracts.
“It is not as if Joe is out of contract next week, and we will see how this season goes.
“If this club gets promoted, it is as big a club as many in the Championship and we can fulfil a lot of ambitions and dreams of players here or who want to come here.”
However things pan out, Grayson will be looking to Garner to lead the attack in the new season.
And he doesn’t regard the current negotiations as any kind of distraction.
Said Grayson: “How it goes is that football clubs are trying to do their best deal – agents go in too high and clubs go in too low. Somewhere down the line a sensible figure is agreed.
“If nothing is agreed here, Joe stays until the end of the season and keeps his options open.
“The one thing I will say is that Joe will be totally committed to try and replicate what he did for us last season.”
North End will wear last season’s kit during the forthcoming pre-season friendly programme. A new strip will be launched in time for the new campaign but the club are in negotiations with a potential new shirt sponsor.