The state of play for Preston North End in the January transfer window

Any potential incoming transfer business for Preston North End in this month’s window still hinges on reducing the numbers in the first-team squad.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 12:34 pm

The Lilywhites have been linked with a couple of targets in the media and have had former Barnsley defender Bambo Diaby training with them since November.

As things stand, the wage bill is full and the size of the senior squad too big.

Both wages and squad size need trimming to allow PNE to do January business.

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Bambo Diaby playing for Barnsley against Derby

They have a budget for the season set by the Hemmings family and trade within that.

Ideally North End do want to strengthen a couple of areas of the team and freshen things up a little.

They were linked at the weekend with Wigan Athletic left-back Tom Pearce.

Diaby’s time training at Euxton pre-dates Ryan Lowe’s appointment as manager.

The centre-half is coming to the end of a two-year ban from football after testing positive for higenamine.

He was cleared of an FA charge of knowingly ingesting a banned substance.

Once the 24-year-old’s ban ends on January 16, he would be available as a free agent. Diaby, who was born in Senegal and moved to Spain as a child, joined Barnsley in July 2019 from Belgian side Lokeren.

He made 22 appearances for the Tykes in the 2019/20 season before returning the positive higenamine sample.

In terms of PNE creating room to do business, enquiries for any of their players have been few and far between in the window to date.

There are players on the fringes of the first-team squad who need games.

At the moment, North End have 30 players on the books who fit the EFL’s criteria of being senior players in terms of the 25-man squad limit.

That includes Connor Wickham whose contract runs out next week, together with Izzy Brown and Josh Murphy who are out injured.

There are also the younger group of players who don’t count towards the squad because they are under 21, some of who PNE want to loan out again to get experience.

Being knocked out of the FA Cup at Cardiff on Sunday was a blow financially, with an appearance in the fourth round potentially generating funds for incoming deals.

Cardiff were drawn away to Liverpool and PNE would have been the same ball number in the draw had they won.

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