Alex Neil leads contenders as Preston aim to name new boss this week

Preston are hopeful of having a new manager in place by the end of this week after interviewing bookmakers' favourite Alex Neil on Monday.

Simon Grayson's exit to Sunderland last month means Championship side North End are seeking a new boss for the first time in over four years.

Neil met the Lilywhites' hierarchy on Monday but the club still want to interview other applicants before determining who they want to take the post, Press Association Sport understands.

The 36-year-old Scot is currently out of work having been axed by Norwich in March and his CV includes both a Championship promotion from his time with the Canaries and the Scottish equivalent when he took Hamilton to the top flight in 2014.

Preston believe they can challenge for promotion to the Premier League this term having finished in the Championship's top half for two campaigns in a row.

Steve Thompson is holding the reins at Deepdale following Grayson's departure and Preston play their first pre-season friendly on Friday before heading to Ireland for a training camp, by which time a new manager should be in place.

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