Brown eyeing Barrett swoop
By James Pearson & Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Irishman, who is at the Withdean Stadium until the end of the season from Arsenal, is out of contract at The Gunners this summer.
Rather than let the youngster leave Highbury for free, the club are keen to release the hit-man for a minimal fee.
Preston are being drawn closer to the relegation zone and Brown is keen to bolster his squad to help pull the side away from the bottom three.
The former Scottish national boss has already been busy in the transfer market, after snapping up Simon Lynch and Jonathan Gould from Celtic.
One of the main reasons behind the striking crisis at Deepdale is that top-scorer Ricardo Fuller is ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with knee ligament damage.
Meanwhile, Preston have denied local reports that defender Colin Murdock has rejected two new contract offers from the Deepdale club.
The Northern Ireland international's contract expires at the end of the season and the player has had preliminary talks with The Lilywhites about a new deal with the Division One club.
Preston's press officer John Booth told planetfootball.com that no offers have as yet been made to Murdock, with talks still at a very early stage.
Booth said: "The chairman [Derek Shaw] said after the story was published that what was written was not actually the case.
"Murdock's contract is due up in the summer but they've had tentative talks on a new deal.
"However, they've not got to the stage of offers yet, so the story was a bit premature."