Preston North End midfielder is reportedly being tracked by Portsmouth

Preston North End midfielder Tom Bayliss is reported to be the subject of interest from Portsmouth.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 12:00 pm

Bayliss was transfer-listed by the Lilywhites earlier this month after spending most of the season on loan at Wigan Athletic.

He has a year to run on his Deepdale contract and is one of three players North End will listen to offers for this summer – Josh Harrop and Matthew Olosunde are the other two.

Portsmouth, who finished 10th in League One, are claimed to be monitoring Bayliss as Pompey boss Danny Cowley looks to strengthen the squad at Fratton Park.

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Tom Bayliss in pre-season action for Preston North End against Wigan in July 2021

Ipswich were also credited with an interest in the 23-year-old, however he’s not believed to be on their radar at this juncture.

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It has just not happened for Bayliss since his arrival from Coventry City in August 2019 for a fee of around £1.5m – a top-end outlay for PNE in terms of transfer fees they pay.

He made just four appearances in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup in the first-half of the season before football was paused for three months by the pandemic.

Tom Bayliss celebrates Wigan Athletic scoring at Fleetwood Town. Pic: Getty Images

Bayliss had to wait until the final game of the 2019/20 campaign for his Championship debut, coming on as a substitute against Bristol City.

He saw a bit more action the following season but mainly from the bench, starting only twice in the league.

In the campaign just finished, Bayliss played for North End in the Carabao Cup win at Morecambe before joining Wigan a few days later for the season.

He only started six League One games for Latics and came off the bench twice, however he made eight starts in the FA Cup and Papa John’s Trophy.

If Bayliss can sort himself a move, it’s unlikely that PNE would demand a big fee for him, with the greater emphasis on creating space on the wage bill.

Harrop is in a similar position to Bayliss, having been out on loan in League One.

The former Manchester United attacking midfielder joined Fleetwood Town in January but a torn hamstring suffered just a few minutes into his debut limited him to a handful of appearances at the end of the season.

Olosunde was signed from Rotherham last summer but made only two appearances last season, injury delaying his debut until December.