Preston hope to keep hold of Stoke midfielder Tonge

Preston North End boss Alan Irvine wants to keep hold of on-loan Stoke City midfielder Michael Tonge.

Preston North End boss Alan Irvine wants to keep hold of on-loan Stoke City midfielder Michael Tonge.

The midfielder's loan spell runs out after Monday's clash at Sheffield United – the club he served for eight years before joining the Potters.

Irvine told the Evening Post: "I have had initial discussions with Tony Pulis regarding Michael.

"We've agreed to get this game out of the way then we can talk further about it. Stoke obviously don't want to commit themselves too much at this stage just in case they pick up a few injuries from the Christmas games.

"But once the loan ends and we have a bit of time to talk, I think the picture will become slightly more clear.

"It's Stoke decision what happens first and foremost, then Michael's, then we can make a decision after that. I've been really pleased with what he's done here. Michael is a good passer of the ball, turns well and he's given us something a bit different.

"He has enjoyed it here, he needed to play some first-team football and we've been able to give him that."

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