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Two Chelsea talents could make sense for Preston as Ryan Lowe admits friendship with Blues coach

Preston need a goalkeeper – and Ryan Lowe’s links to Chelsea coach Anthony Barry may just open up the possibility of a Blues stopper heading to Deepdale.

North End are expected to make a host of signing this summer and no position needs as much re-tooling as the goalkeeper spot.

Daniel Iversen is heading back to Leicester City, Declan Rudd has retired and all four of Connor Ripley, Mathew Hudson, Oliver Lombard and Declyn Duggan have been released.

That means teenager James Pradic – who Peter Ridsdale has high hopes for – is the only notable stopper at Deepdale.

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Preston need a goalkeeper

You could argue that Preston need three goalkeepers this summer to completely overhaul the position.

North End are being linked with a number of stoppers and the Lancashire Evening Post claim that Preston want to focus on another loan goalkeeper from the Premier League.

Manchester City’s Gavin Bazunu has been linked but that move now looks unlikely.

So where else could Preston turn? Well calling up Chelsea may not be the worst idea.

North End boss Ryan Lowe has admitted on From The Finney that he has a close relationship with Chelsea first-team coach Anthony Barry.

“In football, you always get a feel for different coaches and different people. Anthony Barry is one of our good mates, he’s now Chelsea’s first-team coach, he’s had a fantastic journey so far,” said Lowe.

Lowe and Barry both hail from Liverpool and played together at Chester City during the 2008-09 season.

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These connections matter when it comes to Lowe; his relationship with Steven Gerrard helped Preston sign Cameron Archer on loan from Aston Villa and his former Tranmere teammate James Wallace is reportedly in talks to join North End’s scouting department.

Barry won’t be calling the shots at Chelsea but that inside link between him and Lowe could just help North End secure a Blues talent on loan.

It just so happens that Chelsea have not one but two young goalkeepers that could fit the bill perfectly for North End.

One of them is Nathan Baxter, who showed promise on loan with Hull City last season.

The 23-year-old has plenty of first-team experience under his belt now and also played under Lowe’s friend John Coleman at Accrington Stanley.

Baxter may be chasing a permanent move in the near future given his age but his taste of Championship football may leave Preston very interested.

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The other option is Jamie Cumming, who was on loan in League One this past season; firstly with Gillingham and then Milton Keynes Dons.

Cumming is a touch younger than Baxter at 22 but has been working his way up the leagues with loan spells; first League Two with Stevenage, then the bottom half of League One and then the top half of League One.

The Championship seems to be the next logical step for Cumming and Preston would be able to give him first-team action.

Cumming has graded out well in terms of analytics during his time in League One and that could put him on the Preston radar.

Plenty of clubs will be interest in both Baxter and Cumming, but if Preston show an interest in either of them, that link to Barry could just help.

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