Preston North End boss Alex Neil looking to secure two more summer transfer targets

Preston boss Alex Neil is looking to do more summer recruitment soon
Preston boss Alex Neil is looking to do more summer recruitment soon
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Preston are looking to make further headway soon in their summer recruitment.

Having signed midfielder Ryan Ledson and goalkeeper Michael Crowe – they are also close to a deal for Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke – the focus is now on a defender and a centre-forward.

It is understood that PNE have bids in for players in both positions and are waiting for the outcome of those.

The defender they want is a young up-and-coming type which falls very much into the club’s recent buying policy.

But their target to play up front is believed to be far more experienced and will require a larger-than-normal outlay.

It is a waiting game at the moment, with the transfer window still at a relatively early stage.

Landing the striker might take a degree of patience. There are other options, North End also looking at a younger striker on loan from the top flight.

But having a touch more experience at the top end of the pitch is desirable.

Their efforts to get Burke on board should pay dividends in the next week or so.

PNE officials travelled to Dublin last Thursday for talks which went well.

Burke is mid-season with Shamrock and scored twice in their 5-0 victory against Bray Wanderers on Saturday.

Shamrock’s next game is at Limerick on Friday night and then there is a fortnight’s gap in their fixture list.

North End see Burke as a player who can operate in the No.10 role, out wide or even as an attacking midfielder.

Manager Alex Neil wants plenty of options in the final third of the pitch as he looks for more goals next season.

In terms of preparations for the new campaign, in 
addition to the signings of Ledson and Crowe, PNE have secured five players on new contracts over the close season. Paul Gallagher signed a one-year deal at the end of last week, which followed on from fresh contracts for Darnell Fisher, Tom Clarke, Sean Maguire and Mathew Hudson.

Another who Preston would like to tie up is Greg Cunningham but Cardiff City’s interest in him is proving to be a major spanner in the works.

The Bluebirds, who were promoted to the Premier League in May, have renewed their interest in the left-back in recent weeks – it is genuine interest and not speculation.

Last August, they had a £2m bid turned down by North End and have clearly kept tabs on Cunningham since.

The Irishman has just 12 months left on his contract at Deepdale and a move to the top flight would be hard to 
resist should Cardiff come up with another offer.

Cunningham, 27, joined Preston on a free transfer from Bristol City three years ago.