By George Overhill

16th May, 2022 | 9:00pm

Preston North End chase Manchester City keeper Gavin Bazunu as a 'priority' - report

Preston North End are chasing Manchester City keeper Gavin Bazunu and hope to use their Irish connection to boost their hopes, Alan Nixon reports.

The 20-year-old is in high demand, but Lilywhites boss Ryan Lowe is hoping that his current pair of Republic of Ireland internationals can help “sell” him on the move during the summer.

Bazunu impressed on loan in League One with Portsmouth this season, and has told City he wants regular first team football again next season, with Southampton and Bournemouth both interested (The Times).

According to Sun reporter Nixon on his Patreon, Lowe needs a new number one as part of an influx of three new keepers this summer, and is after Bazunu as “a priority”, although it will be a struggle as he is in such high demand.

Captain at Deepdale Alan Browne, and striker Sean Maguire are reportedly “under orders” to convince their international colleague to make a temporary move to join them next season.

Good luck

Lowe has to use any head start he has to try to win this race, and looks to be doing just that.

While he cannot offer Premier League football like other chasing clubs, he does have the benefit of being able to hand Bazunu the starting role.

If the Etihad youngster is primarily focused on regular game-time then he could do a lot worse than Preston, and it would represent a sensible next step to operate in the Championship after playing in the third tier with Pompey this season, and Rochdale in League Two the year before.

If one of the Premier League sides after him, which also apparently includes Everton, are ready to commit to him as their long-term starter he will likely be tempted in that direction.

It would make little sense for him to sit behind an established starter though, so unless Jordan Pickford moves on, or Paddy Travers doesn’t have the full backing of Scott Parker with the Cherries, Lowe might be in with a chance.

Southampton would appear to the most well-suited to land him as their keeper situation is less set in stone with Fraser Forster 34 and potentially on his way out in the summer.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has shown a willingness to target and then utilise youngsters elsewhere in his team in the form of Armando Broja and Tino Livramento, so the Austrian seems set to be Lowe’s most dangerous competition.

In other Manchester City news, Southampton are also interested in forward Liam Delap.