Preston North End boss Alex Neil aiming to 'top-up' his squad in the January transfer window

Preston North End manager Alex Neil says he is keenly awaiting the January transfer window to '˜top-up' his injury-hit squad.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 2:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 3:05 pm
Preston manager Alex Neil

Neil admits the window has never been far from his mind, with squad-strengthening an ongoing plan rather than anything done on a whim.

“I’ve been thinking about January since last May,” said Neil in his press conference at Springfields on Wednesday to look ahead to Millwall's visit to Deepdale on Saturday.

“We have been talking about certain targets which we missed out on in the last window.

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Preston manager Alex Neil

“We want players who can help us and strengthen us.

“With the injuries we have had this year, we could do with that top-up in terms of quality and helping the lads who are playing every week.”

North End’s front line has been particularly badly hit by injuries over the last four months.

It was an area of the squad which looked short in numbers anyway before the injuries.

So it can be presumed a lot of attention will be focused on the top end of the pitch.

They have been linked in the national media with a goalkeeper, that suggesting it is a position under review.

As always, who arrives will have to fit in with the budget.

“Supply and demand comes into it,” said Neil.

“It depends of how many teams are in for a player, it depends on what the wages are.

“It depends on whether you need to supplement it if it is a loan.

“If it’s a permanent one, is there a transfer fee. Is there a sell-on to another club?

“There are a whole lot of things which go into it.”

Neil acknowledges that sometimes it pays to wait to get a target in.

“At the start of the window clubs and agents can demand ridiculous fees because they think they have three or four options for a player,” said Neil.

“Two days before it shuts they have no options and all of a sudden are accepting a fee which is a fraction of what they were asking.”