North End have no interest in letting Huntington leave

PNE centre-half Paul Huntington has been linked with Queens Park RangersPNE centre-half Paul Huntington has been linked with Queens Park Rangers
PNE centre-half Paul Huntington has been linked with Queens Park Rangers
Preston have shrugged off speculation linking Paul Huntington with a move away from Deepdale.

The long-serving central defender was reported to be a target for fellow Championship side Queens Park Rangers in a national newspaper last week.

It was claimed that QPR were planning a £1m offer for Huntington who is entering the last year of his contract with North End.

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But PNE sources say there has been no contact from the West London outfit and they would not be interested in selling.

Talks have been held with his representatives over a new contract, Huntington among a number of players who the club are looking to tie down to longer deals.

Darnell Fisher, Tom Clarke, Paul Gallagher, Sean Maguire and Mathew Hudson have signed new deals over the past month.

Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson are others who North End want to sign up.

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On the flip side of the coin, Greg Cunningham moved to Cardiff last week in a £4m deal, the left-back having got into the final 12 months of his contract.

Huntington, dubbed the ‘Cumbrian Cannavaro’ by North End supporters, is a key player in the Lilywhites set-up.

He started 44 of Preston’s 46 league matches and two FA Cup games last season.

The only two games which the 30-year-old missed were due to suspension and injury.

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With that in mind, it would be a surprise to see North End let him go.

The QPR link could well be agent-generated in a bid to push contract talks along.

Huntington moved to PNE six years ago on a Bosman, his contract at Yeovil having come to an end. He has played 246 games and scored 17 goals – one of them came at Wembley in the League One play-off final.

PNE added to their options at the back last week, signing Jordan Storey from Exeter.

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Storey, 20, will compete with Huntington, Clarke and Ben Davies for a centre-half role. There is also Tommy Spurr to add to the mix, although a lack of first-team football last season could see him decide to move on.

Injury did play a big part in Spurr being out of the team, and he needed surgery on a torn medial ligament.

One thing which needs to be factored in with Storey is that he will need time to settle in at Deepdale.

He only broke into Exeter’s first team in League Two on a regular basis in February.

Meanwhile, former PNE right-back Scott Wiseman has joined Salford City.

Wiseman links up again with Ammies boss Graham Alexander, who managed him at Scunthorpe.