Tommy's a target for PNE

Preston North End are eyeing Blackburn's Tommy Spurr as a possible defensive reinforcement.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 5:00 am
Tommy Spurr

The left-sided defender is out of contract at Rovers but has been offered a new deal.

However, he can speak to other clubs and it is understood that the Lilywhites have been in contact.

North End are looking to add to their backline ahead of the return to pre-season training in a fortnight’s time.

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Spurr can play at left-back or as a left-sided central defender and that kind of versatility would appeal.

They currently have player of the year Greg Cunningham on that side of the pitch.

Calum Woods can play there if needed – he did so in the play-off win at Wembley last year – but has mainly operated on the right.

So cover and competition is needed for Cunningham in a defensive capacity.

Spurr, 28, joined Blackburn thre years ago from Doncaster in a £200,000 deal.

Before that, he was at Sheffield Wednesday where he came through the youth ranks.

Last season, Spurr made 26 appearances for Rovers, the last of those being their 2-1 defeat to North End at Ewood Park on April 2.

He missed the last month of the campaign with an Achilles tendon injury, one which has since settled down.

Spurr is one of eight Rovers players to be reaching the end of their contracts this month.

The other seven have not been offered new terms but the East Lancashire outfit have held talks with Spurr since Owen Coyle’s appointment.

Coyle said: “We have spoken with Tommy and with his agent and, if there’s a deal to be done with Blackburn Rovers, then that’s one we’d certainly like to conclude.

“Having said that, I’m sure his agent will have been speaking to a number of clubs in those weeks since the season ended.”

Further forward on the left side of the pitch, Preston have lost a couple of options since the end of the season with Adam Reach and Callum Robinson returning to their parent clubs after loan spells.

Reach was a regular starter since joining from Middlesbrough last September, operating as a winger and a wing-back, as well as in a role off the striker.

North End maintain a strong interest in the 23-year-old should Boro choose to loan him out again before the close of the transfer window.

It is believed that the Premier League newcomers want him to do pre-season training in Teesside, with them then making a decision on where he plays his football.

Robinson, who joined Preston for a third loan spell in January, is back on Aston Villa’s books for the time being at least.

He is out of contract but has been offered fresh terms, the fact a new deal is on the table entitling Villa to youth compensation should the winger choose to move on.

At this stage, North End are unlikely to make a fourth move for Robinson.