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Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 15:20 UK

McKenna 'key to Preston's future'

Paul McKenna
McKenna has made over 450 appearances for Preston

Preston manager Alan Irvine believes captain Paul McKenna is happy to stay with the club despite being linked with a move away from Deepdale.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who joined North End as a trainee in 1992, is Preston's longest-serving player.

"The only enquiry we've had so far is from Nottingham Forest," Irvine told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"As everybody knows we've rejected that. I've no idea what will happen now but I don't want to lose Paul."

Irvine revealed he will keep the players up-to-date of any potential interest over the coming weeks.

We will fight very hard to keep all of our best players because I'm trying to build something here

Preston manager Alan Irvine

"I believe you have to keep players informed because they will find out in any case," he added.

"It's a lot better for me to speak to players and tell them of any interest. I've done that on many occasions in the time I've been here and I'll continue to do that.

"We've not had any enquiries about other players so at the moment we'll potentially only have one battle to fight."

And Irvine, 50, believes Preston's improvement last season, which saw them reach the play-off semi-finals, will increase interest in their current squad.

"Obviously it's a by-product of the fact the players did well last season and it's something you have to live with," he said.

"We don't pay the highest wages in this division and as a result of that we're possibly a target for other clubs.

"But we will fight very hard to keep all of our best players because I'm trying to build something here."

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