Preston have deals to do on transfer deadline day

Preston North End enter the final day of the transfer window still with business to do.

Thursday, 31st August 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:05 pm
North End boss Alex Neil

The Lilywhites are looking to fine-tune a squad that has made a fine start to the new Championship season, with eight points being picked up from five games against some of the second tier’s top sides.

Retaining the services of Jordan Hugill will be seen as a big plus if he is a PNE player at 11pm tonight.

North End insisted they would “not be selling him in this transfer window” on Tuesday after rejecting a transfer request, but the striker continues to be linked with a move away despite training with his team-mates at Springfields yesterday.

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The only players Deepdale chiefs are happy to leave the club are fringe players in need of first-team football.

Eoin Doyle has attracted interest from Wigan and Plymouth during this window, having finished last season on loan at Portsmouth.

Liam Grimshaw and Ben Pringle are also available to potential suitors if the right deal can be done.

On the incoming front, boss Alex Neil spoke about “one or two” potential additions after the 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The only indication the manager has given in terms of particular positions is highlighting a lack of cover for Ben Pearson when the midfield linchpin was suspended for the defeat at Derby.

Tom Clarke’s absence due to a ruptured Achilles tendon had also seemingly led to a need for reinforcements at the back, but both Ben Davies and Tommy Spurr have impressed in the early weeks of the season with only one goal conceded.

Yesterday’s links with Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo, a promising central defender, are understood to have been wide of the mark.

It is Hugill who will likely dominate the talk amongst North End fans. Last season’s 13-goal top scorer remains a target for Reading, their rejected £8m bid on Friday prompting the striker’s transfer request.

The Royals have already splashed out £7.5m on Sone Aluko to take the versatile forward from Fulham but remain on the hunt for an 
out-and-out front man.

Yesterday they saw a substantial bid for Brighton’s Israel ace Tomer Hemed turned down as they look at their options beyond Hugill.

Wolves retain an interest in the striker dating back to Paul Lambert’s time in charge but are believed to be exploring other avenues first.

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson would like to be reunited with a player he developed at Deepdale but the Stadium of Light club are not understood to have the necessary cash to prise him away.