Preston North End have seen a busy start to the January transfer window, with three new players already arriving through the revolving doors at Deepdale.
The Lilywhites first confirmed the loan addition of Ireland international Jayson Molumby from Brighton, with the Premier League club rejecting a bid for a permanent transfer from his former side Millwall.
Then came the much-debated decision to bring in Fleetwood striker Ched Evans on a six-month loan deal, and with Declan Rudd picking up a knee injury, Alex Neil has strengthened his goalkeeping ranks with the signing of Leicester’s Danish stopper Daniel Iversen.
There’s seemingly much more business to be done on both the incoming and outgoing fronts, so let’s take a look at the latest gossip coming out of the Lancashire club.
Conflicting reports emerged yesterday regarding the highly-rated Doncaster Rovers captain.
A source close to PNE has told Football League World that the two clubs are haggling over a relatively small amount of money, and that Whiteman wants to make the step up to the Championship with North End.
Can you name each of these 17 ex-Preston North End players just by looking at these 3 clues?
The Daily Mail reported earlier in the week that Preston had joined the race to take Branthwaite on loan from Everton, with Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers first linked to the 18-year-old.
North End are desperate to secure a centre back as a replacement for Patrick Bauer, who was struck down by a season-ending achilles injury last month and a loan deal is probably preferable.
But if PNE lose Ben Davies this month to one of a number of potential suitors, then they’ll need two centre backs – Branthwaite is comfortable using either foot so in that sense he would be a good signing in-place of either Davies or Bauer.
Pearson is one of a number of players out of contract at the end of the season for North End, and if the pursuit of Whiteman comes off then PNE could be more receptive to offers for the Manchester United academy graduate this month.
Pearson is likely to depart at the end of the season if that doesn’t happen, so it’s not an ideal situation for fans who absolutely adore his presence in the midfield.
Like Pearson, Davies is out of contract at the end of the season and seemingly has no end to the names of teams that are interested in his signature.
Udinese are the latest club to be linked, but it’s not a secret to many that their owners – the Pozzo family – are also in charge at Watford, so they could easily sign Davies to a pre-contract and then loan him to the Hornets in the summer.
Of the other clubs linked, Sheffield United don’t appear to interest Davies too much, Belgian side Genk have just signed American defender Mark McKenzie, whilst Celtic may be the most realistic option after Christopher Jullien suffered an injury.