Sky Bet Championship side Preston North End are the first club in their league to announce their retained list. The Lilywhites have revealed that three squad players have been allowed to depart, whilst a goalkeeper has seen his deal extended.
There are no great surprises in the list that has been published by Preston on their official website on Monday evening. They ended the campaign in the top half of the table, despite ending the season poorly in terms of results. Grayson is again hoping to complete his recruitment early over the summer, just as was the case last year.
Perhaps the biggest name to be heading out of Deepdale this summer is striker Jermaine Beckford. The 33-year-old made the move from Bolton Wanderers, initially on loan, in 2014, before it was eventually made permanent. He only scored one goal for the club this season, coming all the way last August in the 2-0 away triumph at Queens Park Rangers. He only started four league games over the past season however. His hat-trick in the play-off final win over Swindon Town at Wembley in 2015 is certainly the highlight of his Preston career.
Sub keeper Anders Lindegaard has also been told he is free to go. The former Manchester United man initially began the season as first choice under Grayson, before Chris Maxwell took over that mantle and never lost his spot after winning the jersey relatively early on. It is no surprise to see him go. Young Mathew Hudson has had his deal extended after the club took up an option on his existing deal, so he may now become second choice, although Grayson probably will sign another goalie.
Clive Smith is the third and final name to be leaving. The defender has spent the last half of the season with St Johnstone in Scotland. He signed his first professional deal with the Championship club last season, but has failed to make an impact on the first-team setup.
Released: Jermaine Beckford, Anders Lindegaard & Clive Smith.
Option taken to extend contract: Mathew Hudson.