A big summer rebuild is potentially coming for Preston North End after manager Ryan Lowe released a number of first-team players with their contracts set to expire.
The likes of Scott Sinclair, Tom Barkhuizen, Joe Rafferty amongst many others are heading for the exit door at Deepdale as Lowe looks to build a squad capable of challenging for the Championship play-offs in 2022-23.
Lowe has already indicated that he wants to bring Championship experience in through the door this summer to bolster his squad, and one player with that in abundance who has been linked with a switch to PNE is Andre Gray.
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Per a report from The Sun (May 8, page 59), the 30-year-old striker is being lined up by the Lilywhites with his Watford contract set to come to an end this summer, having signed a five-year deal in 2017 when making an £18.5 million switch from Burnley.
Is it a realistic move for North End to be pursuing though?
With Gray’s contract at the Hornets expiring, he will not be in a position to be asking for the money that he will have been earning for the previous five years.
As a Wolverhampton-born man though, a move up north will not faze Gray at this stage of his career, especially when he’s already plied his trade with North End’s Lancashire rivals Burnley in the past.
With 10 goals in 28 appearances for Queens Park Rangers on loan this season, Gray has showed that he’s still capable of being a starter week in, week out in the Championship – they were rare at Loftus Road this season as he came off the bench under Mark Warburton more often than not.
With Cameron Archer not certain to return on loan to Deepdale next season, Gray could be a viable alternative as long as his salary demands aren’t extravagant – North End’s wage bill has been cut with a lot of releases though so it shouldn’t be hard to put an acceptable offer on the table.