Stuckmann to sign new PNE deal

Thorsten Stuckmann
Thorsten Stuckmann
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Thorsten Stuckmann will extend his stay with Preston North End this week.

The goalkeeper has agreed a new two-year contract and will sign it on his return from a holiday in Germany.

Stuckmann, 32, was offered fresh terms last month as he approached the final stages of his current contract.

Negotiations have been ongoing since, with him speaking with Preston officials before the weekend to finalise terms.

The 6ft 6ins shot-stopper has proved a big hit at Deepdale since joining the club in November 2011.

Earlier that year he’d had a short trial with North End but then manager Phil Brown opted to sign Iain Turner.

Stuckmann returned when Turner picked up an injury, joining as a free agent on a short-term deal.

His form resulted in him soon signing an 18-month deal and he won the Player of the Year award for the 2011/12 campaign.

In the first half of last season, Stuckmann shared the gloves with Steve Simonsen.

Declan Rudd’s arrival on loan at the end of January then consigned him to the bench for the vast majority of the rest of the campaign.

But he got the nod to start the away games at Carlisle and Crawley in April as Simon Grayson took the opportunity to run the rule over him.

It will be Rudd who Stuckmann is set to be competing with for a place between the sticks in the forthcoming season.

A deal has been struck in principle with Norwich City for the Diss-born keeper to return to Deepdale on loan for the whole of 2013/14.

That could be finalised later this week now that England Under-21s have bowed out of the European Championships.

Rudd is one of three keepers in Stuart Pearce’s squad in Israel.

England were beaten 3-1 by Norway on Saturday –Rudd was on the bench – and with them losing 1-0 to Italy last Wednesday, cannot now qualify for the knock-out stage.

Their final game is tomorrow night against hosts Israel.

Rudd, 22, played 14 games for North End last term, keeping eight clean sheets.

Finalising the goalkeeping positions will represent a big part of the summer planning at Deepdale.

Once Rudd signs up, their remaining piece of transfer business is to bring in a new striker.

Ideally, PNE want to sign a young centre-forward from the Premier League.

They’re casting the net at the moment, and are understood to be have been in contact with a handful of top-flight clubs to see who is available.

With the Premier League season finishing much later than that of the Football League, most managers are still assessing their squads and aren’t yet in a position to say for definite who they are prepared to let out on loan.

One rumour which North End have batted into touch is any interest in former striker Ricardo Fuller, released last month by Charlton Athletic.

Meanwhile, tickets for the friendly against Liverpool will go on sale on Wednesday morning at Deepdale.