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Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Tuesday, 28 June 2011 09:36 UK

Preston North End expect to keep Neil Mellor

Neil Mellor
Mellor scored 20 goals in 43 games for the Owls last season

Preston manager Phil Brown expects Neil Mellor to lead the North End attack next season despite interest from his former club Sheffield Wednesday.

The Owls hope to re-sign the striker, 28, on a permanent deal after he spent last season on loan at Hillsborough.

But Brown told BBC Radio Lancashire: "If you've got a player who's going to score you 20 to 25 goals in one season it's a good start for me.

"I've spoken to him and Neil's very positive about playing for North End."

Mellor, who started his career with Liverpool, has not figured for Preston since April 2010 and was allowed to join Sheffield Wednesday in July 2010 after being transfer-listed by previous North End boss Darren Ferguson.

Neil's very positive about playing for North End

Preston boss Phil Brown

Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric told BBC Radio Sheffield he is keen to bring Mellor back to the club: "I am hopeful that we can do the deal."

But Brown has earmarked Mellor as a key player in Preston's attempt to win promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt following relegation: "I spoke with Neil after the season finished and he believed there was a Championship club coming in for him - he wanted to play Championship football but now he's very positive about giving Preston a full season."

Mandaric also confirmed that Sheffield Wednesday are interested in signing free agent Jason Koumas and Jason Scotland from Ipswich, but face competition from Championship clubs.

Wales international midfielder Koumas, 31, recently completed a loan spell at Cardiff City and the 31-year-old revealed the Owls' interest on Twitter.

Trinidad & Tobago striker Scotland, 32, who scored 10 goals for Ipswich last season, has also been linked with Brighton.

Mandaric has also confirmed that former Coventry City winger Michael McIndoe is also a target for the club.

"It will be Gary Megson's call because he has a relationship with those players and it would take some convincing to come to us rather than stay in the Championship," Mandaric said.

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see also
Mellor completes Owls loan switch
02 Jul 10 |  Sheff Wed
Scotland wants to stay at Ipswich
06 May 11 |  Ipswich
McIndoe makes MK Dons loan switch
12 Nov 10 |  Milton Keynes
Koumas requested Cardiff switch
07 Aug 10 |  Cardiff
Wigan prepared to loan out Koumas
16 Feb 10 |  Wigan

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