Preston renew Shumi interest

PRESTON North End have set their sights on signing Veliche Shumulikoski from Ipswich Town.

Derek Davis

PRESTON North End have set their sights on signing Veliche Shumulikoski from Ipswich Town.

Lilywhites manager Alan Irvine is in desperate need of a midfielder following the sale of Paul McKenna to Nottingham Forest for �750,000.

He tried to take the Macedonian international on loan towards the end of last season and his appreciation of the 28-year-old has not diminished during the close season.

McKenna, who spent 14 years at Deepdale, was a central player, and Shumulikoski would fit the bill perfectly.

Some of the cash received from Forest is needed to keep Preston in the black, but they could find the �300,000 that would appear to be enough to persuade Blues manager Roy Keane to let Shumulikoski go.

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He has signed Colin Healy from Cork to sit in front of the back four, and Liam Trotter is another player who can play in this role.

Preston are in Scotland preparing for a game against Hibernian at the weekend, and they have just five midfielders currently on their books.

They reached the Championship play-offs last term - with Shumulikoski saying after having his loan move blocked at the 11th hour: “Ipswich were supposed to accept a loan offer from Preston, but it wasn't allowed by the manager Magilton as he did not want me to go to a rival play-off team.

“I was angry and couldn't stand it any more. I wanted to go on loan to a team that had ambitions for promotion to the Premier League.

“My wish was Preston but Ipswich wanted me to go on loan to Watford or QPR.”

Shumulikoski started Tuesday's 2-1 friendly defeat at Charlton, but disappointed and was taken off at the interval, and it would appear that Keane would not stand in the player's way - like Pablo Counago and Jordan Rhodes - if a good enough offer was made.

Counago is still interesting Swansea who were turned down by the Spaniard last week.

Shumulikoski joined Ipswich from Turkish side Bursaspor in January 2008 for a fee of �500,000, signing a contract until June 2010.

He has made 33 starts and 10 substitute appearances, scoring once.

Town defender David Wright has no broken ribs after taking a knock at The Valley on Tuesday.

But he is suffering from bruising and will miss tomorrow's home game against Spanish side Real Valladolid