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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Carlisle United target Joe linked with Preston switch

Preston are going head-to-head with Carlisle United for the signature of in-demand striker Joe Garner.

The Blues’ League One rivals are in the market for a new forward and are said to be eyeing Watford frontman Garner.

The 24-year-old, who scored eight goals in an 18-game loan spell with United this season, is Greg Abbott’s top target in the January transfer window.

Sources in Lancashire have claimed that North End are bidding to tie up a loan deal that would take Garner to Deepdale until the end of the season.

That follows intensive speculation yesterday that Graham Westley’s club had joined the race for the ex-Blackburn man.

Abbott has made it clear that he would like to sign Garner either on a half-season loan or on a permanent deal.

The frontman has been told he has little future at Vicarage Road and is free to find first-team football during the transfer window.

Garner made little secret of how much he relished being back at Carlisle for a third spell and his goals proved vital during a difficult period for Abbott’s team.

Among his best displays was a goalscoring contribution in United’s 1-1 draw at Deepdale, a display which is said to have impressed North End manager Westley.

Abbott has insisted that he has been in daily telephone contact with the striker.

But United reported no new developments in their pursuit of the striker as News & Star Sport went to press today.

Westley wants a new striker to replace the departed Akpo Sodje, while Abbott has been hoping to use some of the proceeds from Paddy Madden’s sale to Yeovil to lure Garner back.

On Madden – who has left for an undisclosed five-figure fee including a sell-on clause – United have confirmed there is no clause in the deal that prevents him from playing against the Blues when Yeovil visit Brunton Park on March 23.

Abbott is eyeing players in other positions with a Premier League loan defender among his possible targets.

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