Preston still have business to do as squad prepare for the start of pre-season

Preston’s return to pre-season training tomorrow could well be the spark for more activity in the transfer market, both in and out of Deepdale.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 7:00 am
Preston North End's Callum Robinson

The eight-week summer holiday ends when the squad return to Springfields to start the build-up to the 2019/20 campaign which kicks-off at Millwall on August 3.

PNE have to date limited themselves to the signing of Patrick Bauer, the German centre-half recruited last week on a Bosman at the end of his Charlton contract.

There is more business to be done as Alex Neil looks to strengthen and freshen the squad up.

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A striker and midfielder are on the wanted list, while the goalkeeping department is being looked at.

They are one of the clubs to have made an enquiry about Manchester City’s goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, the Premier League champions eager for him to get first-team games.

The current squad looks top heavy in certain areas, for example they currently have five keepers on the books.

Chris Maxwell is wanted on loan by Hibernian for next season but an agreement is needed as to how much the Scottish Premiership club would contribute to wages.

Speculation over Callum Robinson’s Deepdale future will continue over pre-season.

A Premier League club has twice bid for him and twice been knocked back, with their interest still there.

Robinson won’t report back tomorrow, nor will Sean Maguire or Alan Browne

They were on international duty with the Republic of Ireland over the summer, Robinson and Maguire featuring in the squad for two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Browne had been due to be involved but suffered a minor calf strain during a training camp in Portugal in the build-up to the games.

PNE boss Neil has given them a few extra days off and they will return on Monday.

Robinson is about to go into the final year of his contract and is keen to play in the top flight.

North End want decent money for last season’s top scorer and if an acceptable bid didn’t materialse they would not worry about keeping hold of him even as his contract ticks down.

On the contract front, new deals have yet to be sorted with Tom Barkhuizen and Billy Bodin.

Like Robinson, they are both in the last year of their contracts

Both are coming back from knee injuries, Barkhuizen having undergone surgery to repair a damaged cartilage in March.

Bodin missed the whole of last season having ruptured an ACL in training on the eve of the campaign.

Meanwhile, ticket details have been announced for PNE’s pre-season friendly with Southampton on July 20.

Tickets are £10 adults, £5 concessions and £1 Under-16s and go on sale from July 1.

Tickets can be loaded on to season and member cards, while e-ticketing will also be in use.