What we can expect from Preston North End in the final days of the transfer window

The transfer deadline, to a certain extent, is fast approaching and Preston North End fans will have their eyes fixed on Deepdale for news of any activity.

Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 4:58 pm
PNe manager Alex Neil

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Alex Neil aims to put finishing touches to his Preston North End squad

It has been well documented that North End are in the market for reinforcements up front, that the case throughout the summer and also since the injuries to Sean Maguire and Billy Bodin.

The transfer window for permanent deals shuts at 5pm on Thursday, however for EFL clubs it is very much a 'soft' window.

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PNe manager Alex Neil

After voting for the earlier than normal cut-off - following in the footsteps of the Premier League - the clubs agreed to have a loan window open until August 31.

Any kind of loan can be done in those 22 days - loans with with a view to a permanent move and standard loans either to January or through to the end of the season.

For much of the summer, PNE boss Alex Neil was chasing a targetman-type striker.

North End had strengthened other areas of the squad early in the window, making five signings.

PNE are chasing a striker to cover the loss of Sean Maguire to injury

It was acknowledged within the club that bringing in a striker could well up being a long game.

The dynamics changed when Maguire and Bodin were struck down by injury within the space of 72 hours of one another.

Maguire damaged a hamstring tendon in the final pre-season friendly at Oldham Athletic, with Bodin suffering an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament in a training session.

It is Maguire's absence for two months which has left a big hole, Louis Moult now the one available senior out-and-out striker on the books.

Billy Bodin is out injured for six months

The market for strikers is a competitive one as North End have found out.

They attract the biggest fees, the fatter salaries, and such quality doesn't grow on trees.

Last week they were strongly linked with Adam Armstrong - who has since joined Blackburn from Newcastle United - and Collin Quaner at Huddersfield.

Jon Walters at Burnley has been a name suggested in the last couple of days and his Clarets team-mate Nahki Wells is never far away from fans' chat when it comes to speculation.

Speculation has linked Burnley striker Jon Walters, pictured here playing for the Republic of Ireland with Alan Browne

However, Derby could be the destination for Wells in a swap deal with Matej Vydra.

A possible path is to target young top-flight strikers who are in need of a taste of first-team action.

There are hoops to jump through when doing that - a share of the wage and parent clubs wanting guaranteed playing time for their youngsters.

Again, North End would be in a queue for them with others in the Championship.

Were they to land a couple of targets either before Thursday or the end of the month, the squad would have a fuller look about it.

Other areas of it are well stocked, the desire being for that to be extended at the top end of the pitch too.

PNE are looking to move Marnick Vermijl out of Deepdale

In terms of players moving the other way, Preston would like to get a few going through the Deepdale exit.

Eoin Doyle left for Bradford City last week but new homes are still being sought for Kevin O'Connor, Andy Boyle, Ben Pringle and Marnick Vermijl.

Interest hasn't exactly been stacking-up in them and it might be that loans closer to the end of August could be more likely for them.

Otherwise they are here until January at least, with little chance of first-team football.