Preston North End are set for another busy transfer window this summer after being one the most active clubs in the EFL during January and February.
Eight players arrived at Deepdale, including seven loanees (two of which got converted into permanent deals a week later), but eight also departed, which included a mix of first team players and ones that were on the fringes of the squad.
Fans were disappointed to lose Ben Davies and Ben Pearson to Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth respectively, but PNE were pretty powerless considering neither were willing to sign new contracts.
Another player that departed due to his contract situation was Darnell Fisher, who signed for PNE’s league rivals Middlesbrough in a £300,000 deal.
There was a mixed reaction to Fisher leaving North End, with some lamenting the loss of a good second tier right-back and others thinking he was far too inconsistent to be at a club who want to crack the Championship’s top six.
But what angered Preston North End fans most was that Alex Neil did not get a Fisher replacement in through the door, instead turning to midfielder Alan Browne to fill in at right-back.
It’s a position that the club will need to address in the summer though – and they could take advantage of a situation at their local rivals Blackburn Rovers to try and steal Ryan Nyambe from them.
Quiz: 16 celebrities that support Preston North End – But do they really?
The 23-year-old Namibia international came through the Rovers academy and is out of contract with the club this summer – however they have a 12-month extension should they want to trigger that clause.
LancsLive reported in January that that would be the case, but manager Tony Mowbray painted a different picture last month by saying Nyambe’s future rested in his and his representatives hands, whilst also hinting that it was financial issues as to why Nyambe hadn’t penned a new contract yet.
Nyambe has made 30 appearances in the Championship this season (transfermarkt), but has been a substitute in the last two games in favour of Joe Rankin-Costello – matches that Rovers didn’t lose – and Nyambe was actually dropped from the squad entirely against Barnsley in February.
From the outside looking in, it does seem that the relationship between player and manager in this case isn’t the most healthy, and this is where Preston could swoop in.
There’s been speculation that North End’s pay-scale has increased with the new contracts that have been given to Daniel Johnson and Alan Browne, and a right-back with the international and Championship experience that Nyambe has would command a decent salary.
A right-back is a position that North End badly need to address though for next season, and with Nyambe’s future at Ewood Park uncertain, PNE would be silly not to ask the question of a player right on their doorstep.