Preston looking to bring in striker from Premier League club ahead of transfer deadline

Preston North End are still working on trying to add more attacking quality to their squad ahead of tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 8:06 am

The Lilywhites have been in talks with a Premier League club about doing a loan deal for a striker and hope that can bear fruit before the cut-off.

It is not a numbers exercise for PNE, just bringing in someone for the sake of being seen to do something on the final day.

They know their target has to make a difference and improve on what is already in the Deepdale dressing room.

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Connor Wickham has impressed on trial at Preston

Beyond tonight’s deadline, North End will continue to run the rule over striker Connor Wickham.

The 28-year-old has been training at Euxton for the past week or so in a bid to earn a contract.

As a free agent, having been released by Crystal Palace in the summer, a potential move for Wickham is not governed by the transfer window.

Players without a club can sign any time, so there’s no deadline to adhere to.

It is understood that Wickham has impressed in training but needs time to work on his sharpness.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, bearing in mind his last first-team game was back in July 2020 during a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

In terms of outgoings from the North End squad before the deadline, not a huge amount is expected.

There’s been some interest in Josh Harrop but whether it is at the level to tempt the midfielder away, remains to be seen.

Harrop made the bench on Saturday against Swansea, with him an unused sub.

Before that, his only involvement on a match day had been as a sub at Mansfield in the Carabao Cup – again he didn’t get on to the pitch.

Players isolating and the loan of Tom Bayliss to Wigan, opened the door for a return against Swansea.

Ahead of any deadline day comings or goings, North End have 27 senior players on the books and only 25 can be registered with the EFL in the Championship.

Izzy Brown, out for the next few months after rupturing his Achilles tendon, won’t be registered until he’s fit.

That takes it down to 26 so there will still be a senior player who can’t be registered.

And if incoming business is done today, that will mean player having to sit it out in terms of league football.

With four senior keepers on the books, Connor Ripley might have been one considered for a move.

There’s not been the interest in him though, hence he could well stay.

Players under the age of 21 don’t have to be registered in the official squad with the EFL, with clubs free to have an unlimited number.

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