Preston North End face some stiff Championship competition in their pursuit of Manchester City teenager Liam Delap, with no fewer than five other sides in the mix for his signature, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The 18-year-old was a stand-out star for City’s under-23 side as they romped to a title success in the Premier League 2 competition, scoring 24 goals in 20 outings in a side that only lost two matches in 24.
Delap is clearly highly-rated by Pep Guardiola as he gave him his senior debut last season – that EFL Cup game against AFC Bournemouth saw Delap find the back of the net and he also managed an appearance each in the Premier League and the FA Cup.
It was reported days ago that North End see Delap as a top target as they look to bolster their forward options, and a friendly with Man City taking place next week could see talks occur.
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But per the MEN, there is significant competition elsewhere in the second tier, with West Brom one of many who are looking at the talented teen.
Other teams that are said to be looking at Delap are Birmingham City, Millwall and two teams who his father Rory used to play for in Stoke City and Derby County – a team whose academy Liam played for until 2019.
Out of all six clubs mentioned in the running for Delap, PNE and Derby probably have the most need for him, but with the Rams restricted to just five signings right now they may see their priorities elsewhere.
Some of the other clubs such as West Brom and Birmingham may have a bit more financial muscle but they may not be able to guarantee the game-time – North End though have a goalscoring void to fill and you’d think Delap would naturally fit the bill.
It will no doubt come down to Man City though as to where they see Delap developing best – PNE of course took Lukas Nmecha on loan in 2018 and whilst he didn’t find the back of the net that much it was a good learning curve for the German, who has recently been sold to Wolfsburg after a prolific season on loan at Anderlecht.
North End fans though will be worried to learn of the other interest in Delap and this is a deal that could take a while for any club to get over the line.