'He is a decent player, his goals will tell you that' - Preston boss Grayson continues pursuit of Sean Maguire
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has said that his side 'are not frightened' to go to the League of Ireland in search of players after the Lilywhites boss and club advisor Peter Ridsdale were spotted at Richmond Park last Friday night.
Grayson and Ridsdale were in Inchicore to watch Cork City's 3-0 rout of St. Patrick's Athletic, with Preston closely monitoring the performances of striker Sean Maguire.
The 22-year-old has netted eight goals through 10 Airtricity League games this season for league leading City while it was reported earlier this week that Maguire has a buyout clause of just €150,000 in his contract, which can be triggered when the summer transfer window opens on July 1.
Grayson said that it was his first chance to see Maguire play in person and that his club are not afraid to raid the League of Ireland in search of talent, after snaring Dundalk duo Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan in January.
"It is pretty public knowledge that I went to Dublin at the weekend with Peter Ridsdale," Grayson told the Lancashire Evening Post.
"He is a decent player, his goals tally will tell you that. Sometimes players come to England, it doesn’t work out, they go back to Ireland but then it suddenly clicks.
"The fact we have Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle shows we are not frightened to go to that level. We watch players many times before making decisions and I’d not had the chance to see Maguire before."
"Time will tell if we decide to pursue it anymore."
Boyle and Horgan have settled in well since moving to Deepdale at the start of the year with Boyle starting the last two consecutive games against Newcastle and Norwich City, while Horgan has scored two goals in 17 appearances since making his debut against Arsenal in January.
The former Dundalk pair join Ireland U21 international Alan Browne and Ireland internationals Aiden McGeady and Greg Cunningham at the club, with Grayson adding that Preston's Irish contingent would certainly be a big selling point to any prospective signings from the League Of Ireland.
"The Irish contingent would be a selling point," added Grayson.
"If we were looking to bring Maguire in, or any other player from the Irish League, they will see it as an opportunity to play and that the other lads would help them settle in."