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'Time will tell if we decide to pursue it any more' - Preston boss on Seán Maguire

Simon Grayson watched the young Cork striker against St Pat’s at Richmond Park on Friday.

Peter Ridsdale with Preston North End manager Simon Grayson at Richmond Park on Friday.
Peter Ridsdale with Preston North End manager Simon Grayson at Richmond Park on Friday.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

PRESTON BOSS SIMON Grayson has confirmed he is considering a move for in-form Cork City striker Seán Maguire.

The forward, who turns 23 on Monday, topped the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division scoring charts with 18 goals last year, while he has scored eight so far this season.

Maguire’s excellent form has led to him being linked with a move across the water, with Preston among the clubs interested in the former Ireland U21 international.

Grayson and Lilywhites chairman Peter Ridsdale even turned up to watch Maguire play, as league leaders Cork beat St Pat’s 3-0 at Richmond Park on Friday.

“I know quite a bit about the player,” Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire. “I got a free opportunity to go and watch him with us not playing (against Newcastle) until Monday.

Time will tell if we decide to pursue it any more. He’s obviously a player that people are looking at and it was a perfect opportunity to go and look at him in live match time rather than the internet.”

Maguire previously spent two years at West Ham and had a spell on loan at Accrington Stanley, after joining the Hammers from Waterford in 2013, but ultimately failed to make the first-team breakthrough at the Premier League outfit.

He had a brief spell with Dundalk after moving back to Ireland, but has thrived ever since joining Cork ahead of the 2016 League of Ireland campaign.

He’s a decent player — his goals tally will tell you that,” the Preston boss added. “Sometimes players go to England, it doesn’t work, they come back again, move around and suddenly it fits for them.

“You look at Daryl (Horgan) and Andy Boyle — we’re not frightened of going to that level, but whether we pursue it we’ll wait and see.”

In addition to recently signing the aforementioned Dundalk duo, fellow Irish players Aiden McGeady, Alan Browne and Greg Cunningham also ply their trade at Deepdale, and Grayson believes their success is a potential “selling point” to other Irish players they may be looking to sign.

If we’re looking to bring Maguire or any other players in from the Irish league, they’ll look at it and think ‘they’re getting an opportunity to play’ and it’ll make it easier for them to settle into a new football club.

“Many factors can contribute to (signing a player). Ultimately the biggest factor is that they’re good enough to play for us.”

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Paul Fennessy

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