Preston North End boss Alex Neil has taken a swipe at clubs looking to lure Daniel Johnson out of Deepdale, urging interested parties to start making ‘proper’ offers for his players.
Rangers are known to be one party chasing after Johnson this summer, with the midfielder’s contract with Preston running down now.
However, reports are suggesting that the £2m they’ve offered is well below what Preston would want for any sale.
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That reported low offer has irked Neil, who has hit out when discussing the uncertainty surrounding some of his first-team players.
As per Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre (15/09, 15:29), Neil said: “We have teams showing an interest in our players, which unsettles things. People think players are just robots who can just continue on. The sooner we get clarity, so we know where we are and what we’re trying to do, the easier it makes it for everyone.
“At the moment there are so many unanswered questions, it can become unsettling for players and others. We need to understand if lads are signing on, then let’s get it done. But if other clubs are coming in to try to take them away, then come in and make a proper offer then see where we are. It’s frustrating for me, I’m trying to get my team ready and focused — so the distractions are not helpful. We have too many situations at the moment, which are unanswered.
“We have key players out of contract which means they have eight or nine months left and they’re thinking, ‘Well, where am I going to be? Am I going to get a Bosman in January or move in the summer?’ Like it or not, when players get to that point, they have doubts in their mind. I’m not sure how the clarity comes but the sooner we get it the better.”
Johnson, 27, was in electric form for Preston last season as they chased a place in the Championship play-offs. The midfielder bagged 12 goals and registered a further seven assists for Neil’s side.
Neil handed Johnson his first appearance of the season from the bench last night in the League Cup, with the midfielder scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win over Derby County.
It must be frustrating for Neil what’s happening this summer.
He’s trying to prepare Preston for another push for the play-offs in the Championship, but speculation is surrounding his key man in midfield.
Neil has put the ball in Rangers’ court here if they are going to continue to court the midfielder.
If they want him, the right money has to come forward.
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