Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Jack Byrne becomes a free agent again, Preston considered freebie deal last season

Preston North End dipped into the transfer market to sign a free agent Connor Wickham – and now an old target is without a club again.

Wickham joined Preston on trial in August having been released by Crystal Palace over the summer.

After doing enough to win a contract, Wickham suffered a hamstring injury in his first start for North End.

A similar kind of situation struck with Izzy Brown, and you would forgive Preston for not looking towards free agents again.

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One player Preston did look at signing last season was Shamrock Rovers playmaker Jack Byrne.

Formerly of Manchester City, Byrne was easily the best player in Ireland ahead of his contract expiring in November 2020.

Prothathlima in Cyprus then reported that Preston were rivalling APOEL Nicosia for Byrne’s signature.

North End had explored the Irish market with the likes of Alan Browne, Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan, Kevin O’Connor, Seani Maguire and Graham Burke – with very varying levels of success.

In the end, Byrne did pick APOEL in order to join former Ireland boss Mick McCarthy. However, McCarthy returned to English football quickly with Cardiff.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

So what became of Byrne? 

The playmaker managed just five appearances for APOEL and has now had his terminated contract after an agreement in September.

Pundit Arena believe that Byrne is likely to head to the United States with Charlotte FC – a new expansion team in Major League Soccer.

If Preston were to lose a midfielder to a major injury, maybe Byrne could come back onto the radar.

For now though, it looks like the ship has sailed on Preston signing Byrne any time soon, even now he’s available for free again.

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