Lilywhites stepping up their close-season business

Aiden McGeady is being tracked by Preston again this summer
Aiden McGeady is being tracked by Preston again this summer
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Preston look set to intensify their summer recruitment programme over the next week with the squad’s return to pre-season training getting closer.

So far, the Lilywhites have announced one signing, that of Cork City striker Sean Maguire who will arrive at Deepdale in late July.

His Cork team-mate Kevin O’Connor looks set to follow, with the same arrival time likely.

Three other deals are in the pipeline, two of them close to fruition and another at the bidding stage.

They are in addition to the ongoing interest in Aiden McGeady following his loan stay at Deepdale last term.

Alex Baptiste, another of last season’s loan recruits, is also on the radar.

McGeady’s season only came to an end on Sunday when he featured as a 77th-minute sub in the Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Austria at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

While North End have been linked with a permanent move for McGeady – voted player of the year – it is another loan they are looking to do.

That is down to finances, the combination of the fee Everton would want and the player’s wages, likely to be 
beyond them.

But another loan, with PNE contributing to his wages, would be more practical.

It might be that they have to play a longer game on that one before things fall into place.

McGeady would provide a range of options in terms of positions he can play.

Last season he operated on either wing as well as in the No.10 role behind the striker.

In terms of the recruitment Preston want to do in the c
oming days, they are looking at an attacker, a goalkeeper and a centre-back.

Their interest in Baptiste is in addition to the business they are looking to do soon. Baptiste spent much of last season on loan with PNE from Middlesbrough, arriving on the same day as McGeady.

He was effective in the first half of the season before a knee injury sidelined him for three months.

Baptiste’s appeal is that he can play both in the centre of defence and at right-back.

Meanwhile, North End will find out on Friday who their opponents in the first round of the Carabao Cup – formerly the EFL Cup – will be.

The draw is being made live in Bangkok where energy drink company Carabao are based –it is being streamed live on the EFL’s new platform iFollow, on Facebook and on Sky Sports.com.

As in previous seasons, the first-round draw will be regionalised and seeded.

Sunderland – relegated from the Premier League – are in the hat for the first round but Middlesbrough and Hull who also made the drop, will join in the second round.