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Three League One stars Preston can now target after playoff heartbreak, including Sunderland ace

Preston’s summer transfer business understandably hasn’t got going yet, but there is plenty to do.

New full-time boss Frankie McAvoy needs some help, and North End will likely be looking towards League One for reinforcements.

Blackpool and Lincoln City will meet in the League One playoff final, with Sunderland and Oxford United both dumped out in the semi-finals.

Now both Sunderland and Oxford have been consigned to another year in League One, Preston may sense an opportunity to swoop in and offer some of their players Championship moves.

With that in mind, here are three players Preston could target after they missed out on promotion…

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Luke O’Nien, Sunderland

Lancs Live recently suggested that Preston have targeted O’Nien in the past, and we believe he is still a name on the radar at Deepdale. The 26-year-old has racked up almost 150 appearances for the Black Cats, but is now out of contract this summer.

He’s played central midfield, central defence, right back, right midfield… O’Nien’s versatility could make him a handy squad player, especially on a free transfer.

Rob Atkinson, Oxford United

Preston are expecting to sign Liam Lindsay permanently, but he wouldn’t play as a left-sided centre back in a three-man defence; a more natural replacement for Ben Davies is still needed.

Arguably the best option in League One is Atkinson, who enjoyed a great season with Oxford. He’s young at 22, can play out from the back and has the speed to recover just like Davies. He’s only spent one season in League One, but he ticks the boxes for Preston.

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Cameron Brannagan, Oxford United

Atkinson’s teammate Brannagan has already been linked with Preston; Football Insider claimed North End are leading the race for the ex-Liverpool man, alongside Millwall.

Midfield may not seem like Preston’s biggest need, but with Paul Gallagher retired and Jayson Molumby returning to Brighton, there could yet be a midfield signing.

Brannagan has great quality on the ball, whilst his work rate would fit in well at Preston, potentially joining ex-League One star Ben Whiteman and former Oxford teammate Ryan Ledson in North End’s engine room.

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