Preston have slowed down their recruitment of players from the League of Ireland in recent times, but a new target has emerged.

North End were very active in the Irish market from 2014 to 2018, bringing in Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle, Kevin O’Connor, Seani Maguire and Graham Burke from Irish clubs.

However, the mixed success rate means Preston have backed away from the Irish market, with fans rather unhappy with the focus on the League of Ireland.

Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk - FAI Cup Final
Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images


Now though, Protathlima in Cyprus claim that Preston are battling APOEL Nicosia for the signing of Irish playmaker Jack Byrne, with Nottingham Forest and Stoke City also keen.

Byrne is a free agent with his Shamrock Rovers contract having expired, and he finds himself a man in demand off the back of his displays in Ireland.

The former Manchester City talent, 24, bagged 10 goals and eight assists in 25 appearances this past season, even notching five of those assists in Europa League qualifying action.

Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk - FAI Cup Final
Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Primarily a number 10, Byrne can also operate from deep or out wide, and with the Lancashire Evening Post noting that North End do fancy adding more creativity, a move for Byrne – on a free transfer – could make sense.

Byrne has now commented on his situation, telling the Irish Independent that a decision on his future should be coming in a matter of days as he weighs up whether to sign a new deal with Shamrock Rovers or pursue a move elsewhere.

“I’m away now for a week, I’m taking a week or 10 days off and get all the options on the table and sit down,” said Byrne. “I won’t exclude Shamrock Rovers, of course I won’t, as they’ve been so good to me over the last two years. I’ll sit down with my family and know everything that’s on the table, I’ll make a decision that’s best for me, my family, and my football,” he added.

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