New Sunderland boss Simon Grayson should raid Preston for midfielder Daniel Johnson

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson

New Sunderland manager Simon Grayson should launch a raid on his former club and move for Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson.

Sunderland announced Simon Grayson as their new manager earlier this week, as reported by the BBC. The 47-year-old left his role at Preston North End and has signed a three year deal at the Stadium of Light.

Grayson impressively guided Preston to a top-half finish in the Championship last season. His ability to work with tight financial restrictions will stand him in good stead, as the Wearside club enters a period of uncertainty.

Preston North End manager Simon GraysonSimon Grayson was the Championship's second longest serving manager at Preston

As reported by the Mirror, Black Cats owner Ellis Short looks set to extend his stay at the club after pulling the plug on a potential takeover from a German consortium. It is not clear whether Short will be willing to put up the funds for a realistic promotion bid.

Whilst the intentions of the current ownership remains unclear, what remains clear is that the Sunderland first team squad is in need of a major overhaul.

Some funds may be available but it is likely that Grayson will need to use his eye for a bargain and proven talent to help produce a competitive second-tier outfit. Preston midfielder Daniel Johnson would tick both of these boxes.

The 24-year-old moved to Deepdale from Aston Villa in January 2015. He helped guide the club to promotion from League One and has become a key component in their midfield in the Championship.

The attack minded midfielder has racked up 111 appearances for the Lillywhites, scoring 21 goals and notching up 10 assists.

Sunderland have lacked a creative spark in the midfield area in recent seasons and the potential of Johnson would be an affordable option. He has significant Championship experience and is still at an age where he can continue to improve.

Johnson has two years left to run on his current deal but may well be tempted to reunite with Grayson.

Nottingham Forest's David Vaughan (L) and Eric Lichaj (R) in action with Preston North End's Daniel Johnson

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