Newcastle United midfielder Dan Barlaser NOT on Preston North End radar

PNE boss Alex Neil
PNE boss Alex Neil

Preston North End are not in the hunt for Newcastle’s young midfielder Dan Barlaser.

They have been linked with the 22-year-old by a number of media outlets since the end of last season.

Preston have played down speculation linking them with Newcastle midfielder Dan Barlaser

Preston have played down speculation linking them with Newcastle midfielder Dan Barlaser

However, the Lilywhites have distanced themselves from the speculation and do not have Barlaser on their summer shopping list.

Gateshead-born Barlaser spent most of last season on loan at Accrington Stanley.

He made 45 appearances for the East Lancashire side, scoring three goals.

PNE’s name has been thrown into the mix in terms of clubs interested in him for the 2019/20 campaign.

Fellow Championship side Wigan Athletic and League One outfit Portsmouth have also been linked.

North End sources say they are not generating the interest and have different targets in mind for their recruitment this transfer window.

They watched plenty of Stanley games in the first half of last season when scouting Connor Ripley, so will have seen Barlaser in action.

It is right that midfield is an area North End are looking to strengthen in the window.

They are quite well stocked in terms of numbers but want to bolster the competition for places.

In Ben Pearson and Ryan Ledson they have the players to fill the holding role.

Alan Browne and Brad Potts played as ‘runners’ in the space behind the striker last season, the loss of Potts to a knee injury from mid-March onwards significant in North End’s drop in form.

Behind them were Paul Gallagher and Daniel Johnson in what might be described as the ‘technician’ role.

It is believed to be in that area where PNE boss Alex Neil wants another option.

North End are yet to start their summer business but have spoken to a number of potential targets as they put plans in place.

The transfer market as a whole has not particularly sprung into life yet. That is more likely to happen as the return to pre-season training gets a bit closer.

Neil has spoken a few times about bringing more experience into the squad.

He felt his side just lacked a bit of know-how at certain times last season, one which started and finished poorly but had a strong mid-section when the majority of points were collected.

When Neil talks about more experience, he would like players who can go straight in and be familiar with what the Championship has to offer.

Said Neil: “We do need to add a bit more experience in certain areas of the pitch.

“When we were without certain key players, we had lads coming in and having to play against seasoned pros.”