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‘Could be a really good piece of recruitment’ – Preston North End and Celtic transfer talk assessed: Six Pointer

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Preston have been linked with a loan move for Celtic attacker Scott Sinclair, the Lancashire Evening Post have reported.

The Lancashire side have had a quiet transfer window so far, with Charlton defender Patrick Bauer and striker David Nugent – who previously played for the club between 2005 and 2007 – the only players to make the move to Deepdale this summer.

It now seems as though Preston could be looking to change that, however, having reportedly made an approach to the Scottish champions about a temporary move for Sinclair.

There certainly seems to be plenty to discuss around this potential move, so we’ve taken a closer look at it here, in our latest six point opinion piece.

Firstly, what’s Sinclair’s situation like at Celtic?

“It’s not nowhere near as positive for the winger as it used to be.

“Having been a regular figure in the side that has dominated Scottish football for some time now after joining from Aston Villa in 2016, Sinclair appears to have fallen down the pecking order recently.

“The winger hasn’t started any of Celtic’s three Champions League qualifiers this summer, and didn’t feature at all in Wednesday’s 5-0 victory over Estonian outfit Nomme Kalju.

“Sinclair is now into the final 12 months of his contract with Celtic after the club triggered a one-year extension on his deal in May, meaning this is potentially their final chance to secure a fee for the winger before he has the chance to leave on a free transfer this time next year.”

So how do Celtic feel about the deal?

“According to the report, the Scottish champions would prefer a permanent deal to a loan for Sinclair.

“It is thought that Celtic are demanding a fee of around £2.5million from Preston for Sinclair, which, combined with his wages, is apparently too much for the Championship to afford currently.

“That in itself seems slightly surprising, given Preston reportedly received £8million for attacker Callum Robinson from newly-promoted Premier League side Sheffield United earlier this summer.”

What does that mean for the potential deal?

“It is hard to know exactly.

“You imagine this is a deal that Preston will be keen to complete, given Sinclair’s pedigree, so they may well continue to push Celtic in an attempt to force an agreement with the Scottish champions.

“Whether or not they can be successful in doing that remains to be seen, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if any other transfer business involving either club alters their stance towards this potential transfer one way or another.”

So would this be a good signing for Preston if Sinclair does go?

“This could be a really good piece of recruitment from Preston if they can make it happen.

“As has already been mentioned, they have lost the significant attacking threat of Callum Robinson this summer, and Sinclair’s pace and eye for goal would make him a pretty reliable like for like replacement for the Republic of Ireland international.

“Having previously won promotion from this level before – most notably with Swansea – you also feel that Sinclair would have the experience and pedigree to help Preston towards that top-six spot that they have been threatening to claim for several years now.”

And would he get into Preston’s starting XI?

“Almost certainly.

“Robinson played a key role for Preston when he was fit last season, and if Sinclair is to pick up that mantle, then you imagine he will be just as regular a feature in Alex Neil’s side should he make the move to Deepdale.

“Even regardless of that, the ability that Sinclair possesses, and the winning mentality that he has picked up during his time at Celtic, mean that he would surely be in contention for a regular starting spot at Deepdale in the coming campaign anyway.”

Finally, would Sinclair himself be tempted by a move to Preston?

“I think he would myself.

“Having enjoyed being a key man for so long at Celtic, you could understand why Sinclair could be reluctant to fade into the background and become something of a peripheral figure at Parkhead.

“The opportunity, to step up and become one of the main features at Preston is, therefore, something that could appeal to him by contrast, particularly given it would see him return to the Championship, a league where he has enjoyed plenty of success previously in his career.”

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