PNE make opening bid

Preston's planning for next season is under way although they have not taken their eye off the ball regarding making a strong finish to this term.

Thursday, 13th April 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:27 pm
North End manager Simon Grayson pictured at Elland Road at the weekend

eter Ridsdale, advisor to owner Trevor Hemmings, told a fans’ forum at Deepdale that early discussions had taken place with Simon Grayson as to what might be needed for 2017/18.

An offer has gone in for a player, while North End have made no secret of their desire to extend the stays of Aiden McGeady and Alex Baptiste, who are on loan.

Ridsdale said: “Simon and myself have already looked at the squad in terms of who will stay, where we can improve and who might leave.

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“On Tuesday afternoon we made an offer for a particular player in an attempt to steal a march on others.

“There is always a balance between moving early and getting players for the right price.

“Ideally on July 1 when pre-season training starts, Simon will want most of the squad who will play through the season.

“Some players become available later, for example the way Aiden McGeady did on transfer deadline day last year.

“If that happens, we will move then.”

Ridsdale added: “We will be ruthless in our attitude to the squad.

“If you take every window, our objective each time has been to improve the squad.”

Grayson was asked about the loan players in the squad and whether they will return.

The North End manager said: “Would I like to re-sign Aiden McGeady? Yes, he’s been fantastic for us,

“Aiden is an unbelieveable talent and one of the best 
players I have worked with.

“Alex Baptiste is another one who we would like – that depends on Middlesbrough in the same way it will depend on Everton over where we go 
with McGeady.

“Tyias Browning is back with Everton at the moment recovering from his injury and hopefully we will see him in a Preston shirt again before the end of the season.

“Simon Makienok is 
someone we have to look at and see what he wants to do.

“He probably wants to play more football and he has been an impact player.”

Low home attendances and ticket prices were a hot topic of conversation at the forum.

PNE defended their pricing, Ridsdale rejecting the idea of copying the discount season ticket model used by Friday’s opponents Huddersfield.

There was a strong hint, though, of a review of pricing for youngsters next season.

Chief executive John Kay said: “We go every year to ask the shareholder (Hemmings) how much he can afford to put in. We balance how much fans contribute and what he does.

“We think we have got the equation right.”