Shamrock Rovers striker Graham Burke is reportedly set to join the Irish contingent at Preston North End in a deal worth €300,000.
In today’s Irish Daily Star, Mark McCadden reports that the 24-year old is set to leave the League of Ireland and return to England, having played there with the likes of Aston Villa and Notts County.
The report indicates that Burke will play just two more games for Rovers- against Bray Wanderers on Saturday and Limerick on June 15th- before moving a move to Deepdale.
Should Burke join Preston, he will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Sean Maguire, Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Kevin O’Connor in moving from the League of Ireland to the Championship side.
Burke, scored on his international debut against the USA on Saturday night becoming the first League of Ireland player to do so since fellow Shamrock Rovers striker Ray Treacy in 1978.
Much has been made of Burke’s inclusion in the Irish squad with the general consensus being that the young striker needs to move to England if he is to become a regular in the Irish national team setup.
After Martin O’Neill claimed that Saturday night’s game passed Burke by, despite his debut goal, RTE’s soccer analyst Alan Cawley indicated, that a move to England- and Preston- would be the best thing for the Rovers man to do.
“He will get a call-up if he moves to a club like Preston. He will go, too, I think, because he looked comfortable on that stage. He will go to England and have a career there, no problem.
“I think Burke has the ability to do that but Martin O’Neill’s perception of this league and how he views this league is a player can’t be picked from here to go into his squad and play a qualifier.”
Burke had also been linked with a move to Brentford, Nottingham Forest or Blackburn as reported by The Irish Independent last week.