PNE reject reports they are looking to sign former striker

Joe Garner  won't be returning to Preston
Joe Garner won't be returning to Preston
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Preston are not interested in bringing Joe Garner back to Deepdale less than 12 months after selling him to Rangers.

Over the weekend, PNE found themselves linked with a move for the striker who is reportedly deemed surplus to requirement at Ibrox.

But Deepdale sources were swift to knock down the story which appeared in a Scottish newspaper.

It was after all Garner who pushed for the big-money move north of the border last August, North End having tried to keep hold of him.

The £1.8m transfer came after weeks of speculation in pre-season and the opening stages of the campaign.

Garner played the first three games of last term in a Preston shirt before Rangers met the asking price.

It was an up-and-down time for him in Scotland, with the 29-year-old netting 10 goals – seven of those in the Scottish Premiership.

There was a managerial change at Ranagers part way through the campaign, with Mark Warburton – the man who signed Garner – being replaced by Pedro Caixinha.

The word from Glasgow is that Caixinha needs to sell in order to raise transfer funds and Garner is among a list of players who could be allowed to move on.

In the run-up to Garner’s sale last summer, North End put out a statement regarding their stance.

The statement read: “Joe has made it clear that the financial considerations in making this move would mean that he would want to leave.

“Assuming a final agreement can be reached with regard to a transfer fee we would not want to stand in the way of a player who no longer wished to remain with us.

“If Joe leaves, he goes with our very best wishes for what he has done in his time here.”

Garner was well loved at Deepdale, both in the dressing room and by fans.

But North End say they have moved on and the squad is much changed now, even from the start of last term.

They are in the market for a couple of strikers during the close season and have various targets – but Garner is not one of them.

One incoming deal should come to fruition imminently, with work being done behind the scenes on others in various areas of the squad.

As it stands, North End have Jordan Hugill, Callum Robinson, Tom Barkhuizen, Stevie May and Eoin Doyle to play up front.

Doyle could leave after spending the second-half of the campaign on loan with Portsmouth.

Whether that remains a likely destination for him next term hinges on Paul Cook’s future with Pompey – Cook is strong favourite to be appointed as Wigan Athletic’s new boss.