AFC Bournemouth are set to complete the signing of highly-rated Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson, according to Sky Sports reporter Mark McAdam.
The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, and informed the Lilywhites a few weeks ago that he would not be extending his deal beyond that.
The writing was on the wall before the news of that came out in mid-January, with PNE signing both Jayson Molumby on loan from Brighton and securing the permanent addition of Ben Whiteman from Doncaster Rovers.
The Cherries meanwhile were rumoured to have been interested in Pearson’s fellow out of contract team-mate Ben Davies last summer, with a £3 million bid being rejected for the centre-back, per LancsLive.
But three days ago reports emerged of their interest being re-ignited, but with the added caveat that Bournemouth were trying to do a double swoop to also try and bring Pearson to the Vitality Stadium.
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Whilst it looks like Davies is heading to Celtic – whether that be this week or in the summer – Bournemouth’s deal for Pearson is almost done and according to McAdam he is set for a medical in the next 24 hours.
It represents a bit of a blow for North End, whose fans have seen Pearson develop over five years into one of the leading defensive midfielders in the Championship, but for Bournemouth it looks to be a bit of a coup considering there was interest from Celtic and Premier League side West Brom.
With the impending addition of Pearson, Bournemouth now surely have the strongest midfield options in the whole league – if they didn’t have so already.
The former Manchester United man will join Jefferson Lerma, Jack Wilshere, Lewis Cook and Philip Billing to give Tindall a very exciting list of midfielders to choose from, and if he starts with three of them from now on then two excellent Championship players are still going to miss out.
Some North End fans will perhaps question Pearson’s ambition as he’s not held out for an English top flight move or for potential European football with Celtic, but Bournemouth have an excellent chance of getting back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.