PNE wait for Darikwa

Full-back Tendayi Darikwa
Full-back Tendayi Darikwa
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Preston North End are weighing up their next move in the pursuit of transfer target Tendayi Darikwa.

They are understood to have put in two bids for the Chesterfield 
right-back, the second of which was over the £200,000 mark.

But the Spireites, beaten by North End in the play-off semi-finals in May, say that figure does not match their valuation.

There is room for negotiation though, PNE having identified the 23-year-old as someone who has the talent to play in the Championship. The Spireites are mindful that Darikwa is now in the final year of his contract and could leave for free next summer, as he will be 24 by then.

He is keen to play at a higher level and it was reported this week that a written transfer request had been put in by him.

Chesterfield confirmed yesterday that they had turned down a bid from a Championship club, which they did not name.

Their chief executive Chris Turner said: “Dean Saunders and I had a chat with Tendayi and explained that we had rejected the approach as it was well short of our valuation of him.

“Tendayi is understandably keen to play at a higher level but he understands that we would only consider selling him if we received an offer that we were unable to refuse.

“We will do everything we can to keep Tendayi at the club but we also have to take into account that, as things stand, he will be able to leave as a free agent when his contract expires at the end of the season.”

North End have played a long game in their efforts to bolster both full-back positions.

The signings of Jermaine Beckford, Paul Gallagher and Will Keane completed their business going forward.

Nottingham-born Darikwa, who won four player of the year awards at Chesterfield last season, came through the Derbyshire club’s ranks.

He has played 150 games for them, scoring 11 goals, 56 of those appearances coming last term.

As things stand, Preston’s senior full-backs are Tom Clarke and Calum Woods, both of whom played at Wembley in the play-off final.

Woods has played at both right-back and left-back in the pre-season friendlies.

Young pros Ben Davies and Nick Anderton have provided left-back alternatives.

Second-year trainee Clive Smith played the second half of the Bamber Bridge and Southport games at right-back.

North End’s attempt to bring Sam Johnstone back on loan from Manchester United remains ongoing.

Johnstone has been in the thick of the action during United’s pre-season tour of the USA.

He played the whole of their 3-1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, having featured for 45 minutes against Club America last week.

With David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard both carrying knocks, Johnstone could get more game time under his belt in United’s remaining two tour matches.

PNE remain hopeful that the Red Devils will allow the 22-year-old to return to Deepdale for the whole of the forthcoming campaign.

They have looked at the availability of other keepers as an alternative but Johnstone is their top choice.

For now, Jamie Jones and Steven James will continue to share the keeper duties – they played 45 minutes each at Southport on Tuesday.

The pair are yet to concede a goal in pre-season.

North End are back in action tomorrow night when they face Motherwell at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium (7pm).

The squad will remain in Scotland for training until Tuesday when they come back across the border to face Carlisle at Brunton Park.

Tickets for the clash with the Cumbria side are now on sale, with fans able to get cheaper admission if they buy in advance.

For season ticket holders, tickets cost £10 for adults. £7 for seniors, £4 for young persons and £1 for juniors.

For non-season ticket holders, admission is £13, £10, £7 and £4 respectively.

Prices at the turnstiles on the night go up to £14, £11, £8 and £5.