Trotman one of eight PNE ‘targets’

Photo Ian Robinson Neal Trotman during the Tranmere Rovers v Preston North End pre-season friendly at Preston Park
Photo Ian Robinson Neal Trotman during the Tranmere Rovers v Preston North End pre-season friendly at Preston Park
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Transfer-listed Neal Trotman could clinch a permanent move from Preston to Huddersfield Town.

The young defender spent the second half of last season on loan with the Terriers and helped them reach the 
semi-finals of the League One play-offs.

He did well enough in his 23 games for Terriers boss Lee Clark to weigh him up as a potential transfer target.

Trotman is one of eight players on the list at Deepdale as Darren Ferguson seeks to raise funds for some 
close-season spending.

The 23-year-old is perhaps in a slightly different position to the other seven who Ferguson is trying to off-load.

While they were regulars in the first-team squad last term, either under Ferguson or predecessor Alan Irvine, Trotman found himself loaned out, first to Southampton and then Huddersfield.

Ferguson admits he has potential. But with the North End finances in a far from healthy state at the current time, any incoming cash would be welcome.

And Ferguson believes Trotman has established a decent enough reputation in the game to attract bids.

His Huddersfield counterpart Clark said: “Neal did well in his time here, playing a key role in our improved away form in the second half of last season.

“We’re looking at his situation.”

Trotman has another year left on his PNE contract, having signed from Oldham in a £500,000 deal in January 2008.

It’s unlikely that there will be any movement involving any of the transfer-listed players until closer to the start of pre-season training.

Many on the list are high earners and won’t be able to attract the same sort of wages they’re currently on at Deepdale if they move on.

So they’ll look to sit tight for a few more weeks, as will potential buying clubs.

A North End source said: “Clubs tend to keep their money in their pockets over the summer. They don’t want to be paying out wages for new players while they’re sat doing nothing.

“You tend to find things start to busy up in the week or so before clubs start 
pre-season, that is when managers want players in.

“We had to act early to bring in Paul Hayes because he was on a Bosman and had plenty of clubs interested. He wanted to get settled early in the summer.”

Also listed along with Trotman are Neill Collins, Richard Chaplow, Darren Carter, Neil Mellor, Stephen Elliott, Eddie Nolan and Michael Hart.

Collins fancies a permanent move to newly-promoted Leeds after spending six weeks on loan at Elland Road.

Nolan is a target for ex-PNE boss Irvine at Sheffield Wednesday, while Hart is reportedly being eyed by Hibernian.

The SPL club wanted to take him on loan in January but Ferguson blocked the deal and instead gave the right-back an extended run in the first team.

Hart fell out of favour again in February though, and started just one more game before the end of the season.

On the incoming front, Ferguson’s shopping to date has been limited to the Bosman signing of Hayes from Scunthorpe.

The winding-up order served by HM Revenue and Customs has put paid to any more business being done until the issue is settled – a Football League rule introduced 12 months ago places a transfer embargo on clubs facing such an order.

Work is going on behind the scenes at Deepdale to find the £400,000 owed in PAYE tax, the club extending season ticket sales at the discount rate until June 12 in the hope of increasing cash flow.