Double deal on the cards for PNE

Simon Grayson is keen to conclude deadline-day deals
Simon Grayson is keen to conclude deadline-day deals
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Preston North End are confident that they will have further strengthened their squad when the transfer window closes tonight.

The club hope two new signings will have put pen to paper at Deepdale before the 11pm deadline.

With the loan window now scrapped it means clubs up and down the Football League are frantically working to finalise their squads, with no more additions possible until January.

The rule change also means managers have elected to hold on to players until late in the day, making sure they are not left short in any way with no room for manoeuvre if injuries bite.

With plenty of clubs, PNE included, having had to play something of a waiting game, it means it looks set to be a busy day today.

While no players are expected to leave Deepdale North End are set to fill the void left by Calum Woods’ season-ending knee injury.

Manager Simon Grayson has always made it clear that a right-back was needed since the moment the 29-year-old was taken off on a stretcher early in the friendly against Oldham back in July.

The saga has dragged on for more than a month now with PNE keen to get the right man and reliant on other clubs making players available, an accepted bid for Manchester United’s Donald Love ultimately coming up short as the player electing to stay in the Premier League with Sunderland.

Grayson is keen on a specialist despite not needing one in recent games, with three central defenders deployed against Queens Park Rangers, Oldham and Ipswich as Chris Humphrey operated down the right-hand side, with the versatile Liam Grimshaw also being used this season.

He said: “When you look at how we’ve set up in the last couple of games the team hasn’t needed a right-back because of the system we’ve played.

“That isn’t to say we don’t need one.”

North End’s latest moves came as elsewhere in the Championship Aston Villa set a new record for a club in the second tier of English football, snapping up Bristol City striker Jonathan Kodjia for a reported £15million.

Bankrolled by new Chinese billionaire owner Dr Tony Xia, the club already have Ross McCormack, signed for £12million from Fulham, to call on in attack as they looked to bounce straight back to the top flight under Roberto Di Matteo.

Former PNE loanee Will Keane is staying in the Premier League with the 23-year-old having joined Hull City on a permanent deal, signing a three-year contract at the KCOM Stadium.

The former England Under-21s international worked with current Tigers boss Mike Phelan at Old Trafford.

Another former Deepdale player is also on the move, Jack King having joined League Two Stevenage on loan from Scunthorpe.