Preston remain in the hunt to bring Adam Reach back to Deepdale as interest in the winger grows.
The Middlesbrough man spent most of last season on loan with PNE, starting 36 games and scoring four goals.
There is a desire to sign him on loan again but there would be competition from other Championship clubs.
Reading are the latest side to express an interest, with Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves also admirers.
It could be that all ultimately end up disappointed, with Reach being given the chance by Boro to prove he is worth a place in their 25-man squad for the Premier League.
He has played well in their two pre-season friendlies to date at York and Doncaster, and is also understood to have impressed in training.
Top-flight clubs do not have to submit their final squads until September 1, so those interested in taking him on loan would have to play a long game – certainly towards the end of the transfer window.
In previous years, Football League clubs had the option of waiting until after the full window had closed and then making signings in the emergency loan window.
But the emergency loan system has been scrapped, with deals only permitted within the official FIFA window.
Reach did well in his seven-and-a-half months with North End.
The 23-year-old started every game he was available for after signing in late September.
He initially signed on an emergency loan, with that turned into a standard loan for the remainder of the season during the January window.
He played on the left wing, at left wing-back, on the left of an attacking three and behind the striker in his time at PNE.
North End have shown a tendency to go back in for players they have had on loan previously.
Three of the five loanees who finished last season on the books, have since signed on permanent deals – Eoin Doyle, Callum Robinson and Anders Lindegaard.
If Reach was to become available again, it would only likely to be on loan.
The fifth of last season’s loan players, Marnick Vermijl, remains on the radar too.
He is back with Sheffield Wednesday now and played the second half of their 2-0 win at Chesterfield on Saturday.
Enquires from Preston about Vermijl’s availability this summer have seen them quoted a high fee.
So it would need the price tag to come down considerably before any interest could be followed up.
The Belgian defender enjoyed his season with PNE, making 23 starts and nine appearances from the bench.
Meanwhile, North End were back working at Springfields today after last week’s training camp in Ireland.
They play Oldham tomorrow at Boundary Park (7pm), admission is £10 for adults, £5 Under-65s/Under-18s and £2 Under-12s (when accompanied by an adult).