Robins in for PNE defender

Bailey Wright's future at Preston remains uncertain, with Championship rivals Bristol City having upped their interest in him.

Thursday, 5th January 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:50 pm
Bailey Wright challenges in the air with Burton striker Jamie Ward

The Australia international made his 205th appearance for PNE in Monday’s 1-0 win over Burton Albion.

He was recalled to the side at the Pirelli Stadium after two games as an unused sub and one game out of the matchday squad all together.

It is understood that City have been in contact with North End about Wright, who is in the last six months of his contract at Deepdale.

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So whether the Burton game proves to be his last in a Preston shirt or he is still here for Saturday’s big FA Cup clash with Arsenal, remains to be seen.

This transfer window is the last opportunity for Preston to get a fee for Wright should he stick to his present stance and not agree a new deal.

If he saw out his contract and left in the summer, it would be on a Bosman free transfer.

Speaking at yesterday’s press conference at Deepdale ahead of the Arsenal game, PNE manager Simon Grayson said: “While Bailey is on our books, he will get the opportunity to play here.

“He went in at Burton and showed what he is capable of doing.

“The situation hasn’t changed – if an offer comes in for him, we will see if it works for us as a football club.

“If it works, then there might be something to be done.”

Although there has been plenty of speculation about possible destinations for Wright, the interest from the Robins – who PNE beat 2-1 before Christmas – has been the strongest.

Grayson will not allow the Wright situation to be a distraction in the build-up to the Gunners’ visit.

The players were back in training this morning to start their preparations, having had the last two days off to re-charge their batteries after the Christmas and New Year schedule.

On the injury front, Marnick Vermijl will be assessed after being ruled him out of the Burton game.

Grayson said: “Marnick has a slight groin strain so we’ll have a look at him.

“Aiden McGeady and Paul Gallagher will be fine after only coming on late in the game on Monday.

“Alex Baptiste is fine and hopefully Daryl Horgan will be available after being ill – the Lancashire air has obviously given him a few problems!

“It will be tough to pick a team, some lads are going to be disappointed not to be in the starting XI and others will miss out on the 18.”

Meanwhile, the Football League’s dubious goals committee has awarded PNE’s goal against Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday to Greg Cunningham.

It was credited at the time as an own goal by Owls midfielder Sam Hutchinson, who got the last touch on Cunningham’s cross.

The decision has got the Irishman up and running in terms of goals for the season.