Preston North End could be required to pay a similar seven-figure release fee to Lincoln City to take manager Michael Appleton as Huddersfield Town did when taking Danny Cowley from the Imps.
Lincoln are a club that are now used to having a lot of speculation surrounding their manager’s future, with Cowley having been taken by Huddersfield midway through last term.
His replacement has performed very well with the Imps and has shown ruthlessness in re-shaping the squad in a more youthful direction and altering the style of play, all while getting them into the top six.
Those kinds of achievements have now seen Appleton emerge as a potential contender for the Preston managerial job. That comes with the Lilywhites still assessing candidates for ort the role, with the likes of Robbie Fowler, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Wycombe Wanderers’ Gareth Ainsworth also names reportedly under consideration.
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A report from Lancashire Live has revealed that Huddersfield were required to pay around £1 million to Lincoln when they took Cowley last year. It is suggested that Preston would be looking at a similar sort of fee for Appleton with him having recently signed a contract extension that keeps him with the Imps until 2025.
Preston are facing a difficult choice over the direction that they are wanting to take in terms of their next permanent manager. Appleton is someone who is being linked deservedly due to the work that he has been doing with Lincoln in League One. He has managed to overhaul a lot of what Cowley had done whilst also still managing to achieve consistent results.
That proves that Appleton would be able to get results at Deepdale even though there might need to be a transition within the squad of players. Preston will need a manager who can do that, with Alex Neil having found that task too difficult during and after the January transfer window changes.
A million is not too much to pay in terms of a release clause, but there might be managers out of work on the radar who would be cheaper to target. It will therefore be interesting to see whether the Lilywhites are willing to go for a manager who is in work, or whether they look to appoint someone out of work or already within the club.