Preston North End are expected to finalise the transfer of Doncaster Rovers captain Ben Whiteman before the weekend, according to BBC reporter Andy Giddings.
The former Manchester United and Sheffield United midfielder has been in-demand since the summer after Barnsley failed to complete a deal to land him from their Yorkshire rivals.
And after a sizzling start to the 2020/21 campaign, which has seen him net five League One goals in addition to five assists (transfermarkt), interest in his signature has heated up.
With Whiteman contracted to Doncaster until the summer of 2023, Darren Moore insisted that there was no concrete interest from his understanding just five days ago, but a deal to secure the midfielder’s signature seems to have progressed quickly.
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This seems to indicate that Preston midfielder Ben Pearson will not be signing a new deal at Deepdale, amid links to Celtic, West Bromwich Albion and Brentford.
Pearson is out of contract in the summer and is able to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs, which brings the Glasgow giants into the equation.
Whiteman is a like-for-like replacement in the engine room, and his arrival could mean that Preston fans have seen the last of fan-favourite ‘Pearo’ in the lilywhite shirt.
This is a huge coup for Preston, who look to have beaten off clubs with more financial muscle than themselves to seal Whiteman’s transfer.
It will have helped a huge amount that the player seemingly wants to stay in the north of England, and the training ground that PNE recently purchased off Wigan Athletic is just 30 miles from Whiteman’s home-town.
PNE fans will no doubt be disappointed when Pearson inevitably leaves the club, but this capture is somewhat of a sweetener and if one of Alan Browne or Daniel Johnson pens a new deal at Deepdale, then the strength in depth of the Preston midfield looks rather tasty.