Preston North End boss Alex Neil has suggested that there is a “99% chance” that no players will leave the Championship club before the window closes, handing Rangers a hammer blow in their pursuit of midfielder Daniel Johnson.
The Scottish side have been linked with Johnson throughout the window with contrasting reports over what action they have taken as they attempt to sign him.
It is understood that the Ibrox outfit made a £1.5 million bid, to be paid in installments, a month ago but there have been suggestions since that a £2 million offer was rejected as Preston value him at around £4 million.
With the window for international transfer shutting tonight, Neil has handed the Gers a blow in their pursuit of the Jamaican international by suggesting he feels it is extremely unlikely that any of his squad will leave Deepdale.
He said (via the Glasgow Times): “What I do envisage is, if anybody does happen to leave then certainly we would need to replace, dependent on who it was. But at the moment, I think it’s a 99% chance that won’t happen.
“Everybody at every club has got a price on their head – if someone comes up with big money and it’ll need to be big money, then obviously we’d need to replace.
“But I’ve got absolutely no appetite whatsoever to sell anyone.”
Johnson was a key man for the North West club last season, scoring 12 times and providing eight assists in just 33 appearances, but has been absent from the Championship squad so far this term.
The 27-year-old has just a year left on his current deal, meaning he could sign a pre-contract to join Steven Gerrard’s side in January.
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This seems like a real blow for Rangers as the Preston boss has made it clear that he feels none of his players are likely to leave before the window closes but he hasn’t closed the door on a deal, rather he’s suggested it would have to be a big offer to prize him away.
Of course, this could all be a negotiation tactic but that seems unlikely as you feel Neil would love to hold onto Johnson, who has been such an influential player for the club over the past few seasons.
Preston’s start to the season has been underwhelming and you feel their manager will want Johnson back focused and contributing as soon as possible.