Preston are unlikely to go back for loan duo Lukas Nmecha and Brandon Barker next season

Lukas Nmecha is unlikely to return to PNE next seasonLukas Nmecha is unlikely to return to PNE next season
Lukas Nmecha is unlikely to return to PNE next season
Preston’s summer shopping is unlikely to include moves to bring Manchester City pair Lukas Nmecha and Brandon Barker back to Deepdale.

The two City loanees were among eight players who North End bid farewell to when they published their retained list yesterday.

Although they are open to make fresh approaches, it is understood PNE will not go down that line.

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Nmecha is highly rated at City and there is interest from Germany and Scotland to take him on loan.

The 20-year-old played 44 times for Preston during his season on loan, with 25 of those being starts.

But he scored only four goals, two of those in the same game against Ipswich Town last month.

Admittedly, the Germany Under-21 international did play largely as a winger after winning his place back in the side in March.

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PNE manager Alex Neil is looking for extra firepower up front, so Nmecha’s exit frees up room for that.

Barker’s hamstring issues are likely to count against him in terms of coming back.

Twice the winger damaged his hamstring during his time at Deepdale, with the second injury suffered at Reading in March ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

The 22-year-old has had hamstring issues before, with him missing two months of the 2017/18 season when on loan at Hibernian.

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Neil liked the pace which Barker gave but at this stage will look elsewhere.

His options for the wing will be boosted by the returns of Tom Barkhuizen and Billy Bodin next season.

Barkhuizen missed the last two months of the season with a knee cartilage injury which required surgery.

He also had an operation recently to repair a fractured bone in his wrist.

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Bodin missed the whole of the season with a ruptured cruciate ligament but was able to return to training in recent weeks.

Heading out of Deepdale with Nmecha and Barker are six players who have reached the end of their contracts.

PNE have released Andy Boyle, Tommy Spurr, Ben Pringle, Marnick Vermijl, Michael Howard and Tom Stead, all of who had spells out on loan this season.

Spurr has been back with Preston since January after injury cut short his season’s loan at Fleetwood.

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The defender underwent surgery on both of his hips on his return.

Although the retained list was mainly taken up with those at the end of their deals, North End have offered a pro deal to defender Jack Armer.

The 18-year-old was in PNE’s academy from the age of nine and has represented Scotland at Under-16s and 17s.