Graham Burke in and Greg Cunningham out as dealing continues at Preston North End

Graham Burke
Graham Burke

Preston gained and lost an Irishman in the space of a few hours yesterday as Graham Burke arrived at Deepdale following Greg Cunningham’s departure.

Burke completed his move from Shamrock Rovers last night, joining for a fee in the region of £250,000.

He has signed a three-year contract with North End and is the fourth incoming of the close season.

Cunningham bid farewell earlier in the day, a big money move taking him to Premier League new boys Cardiff City.

The price tag is thought to be between £3.5m and £4m for a player who was soon to enter the last year of his contract.

Burke’s switch to Preston had been ongoing for the past week or so.

Peter Ridsdale watched him play for the Republic of Ireland against the United States at the Aviva Stadium on June 2 – a game Burke found the net in from close range.

Ridsdale then returned to Dublin last week to strike a deal with Shamrock.

Burke flew in yesterday to undergo a medical and then returned home to prepare for his farewell game for Rovers at Limerick tomorrow night.

He will go on holiday before joining-up with PNE for the start of pre-season on June 28.

Shopping in the League of Ireland is nothing new for North End, Burke following in the footsteps of Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle, Kevin O’Connor and Sean Maguire.

Burke sees the timing of his arrival at Deepdale as similar to that of Maguire last year.

He said: “I am hoping to hit the ground running as Sean was able to do.

“We are in the middle of the season, so I am fully match fit.

“Sean came at the same sort of time, fully sharp and playing games and hopefully I can do the same myself.

“I admire what Sean did, with the way he came in and the impact he has had.

“It is brilliant that the break is coming up before I start here in pre-season.

“ I can get myself away, get a rest and get myself focused.”

Burke is North End’s fourth signing of the summer and more business is expected.

A centre-forward is on the list – someone to play the No.9 role – and there is a vacancy now at left-back to compete with Josh Earl.

Burke being at Deepdale coincided with the launch of PNE’s new kit and sponsor.

The shirts carry the logo of online casino company 32Red, who are the new principle partner of the club.

It is a two-year deal with the option of a third.

North End put on show three kits – the traditional white and blue home colours, an all-yellow away strip and a green and yellow alternative.

Replica home kits will be on sale from July 6, with the away kits at a later date.